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Full text of "Poems, now first collected"

Digitized by the Internet Archive 
. in 2013 



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BOOKS BY MR. STEDMAN 

PROSE AND POETIC WORKS. Including Poems, 
Victorian Poets, Poets of America, Nature and Elements 
of Poetry. 4 vols, uniform, crown 8vo, gilt top, in box, 
#7.50. 

POEMS. Household Edition. With Portrait and Illustra- 
tions, iamo, #1.50; full gilt, $2.00. 

HAWTHORNE, AND OTHER POEMS. i6mo, 
#1.25. 

VICTORIAN POETS. Revised and Enlarged Edition. 
Crown 8vo, gilt top, $2.25. 

POETS OF AMERICA. A companion volume to "Vic- 
torian Poets." Crown 8vo, gilt top, $2.25. 

THE NATURE AND ELEMENTS OF POETRY. 
Crown 8vo, gilt top, #1.50. 

A VICTORIAN ANTHOLOGY. 1837-1895. Selec- 
tions illustrating the Editor's Critical Review of British 
Poetry in the Reign of Victoria. Large 8vo, gilt top, 
$2.50 j full gilt, $3.00. 

POEMS NOW FIRST COLLECTED. i2mo, gilt top, 
$1.50. 

AN AMERICAN ANTHOLOGY. Selections illustrat- 
ing the Editor's Critical Review of Poetry in America. 
Large 8vo. (/» Preparation.'') 

HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY 

BOSTON AND NEW YORK 



POEMS 
NOW FIRST COLLECTED 



POEMS 

NOW FIRST 
COLLECTED: By 

EDMUND CLARENCE 
STEDMAN 




BOSTON: HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN 
AND COMPANY: NEW YORK 



MDCCCXCVII 



COPYRIGHT 1897 

BY EDMUND CLARENCE STEDMAN 

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 



TO MY WIFE 



CONTENTS 



VARIOUS POEMS 



MUSIC AT HOME 

THE HAND OF LINCOLN . 

NOCTURNE .... 

« ye TOMBE OF Ye POET CHAUCER ' 

THE CONSTANT HEART 

GUESTS AT YULE 

THE OLD PICTURE-DEALER . 

THE WORLD WELL LOST . 

HEBE ..... 

SOUVENIR DE JEUNESSE 

A VIGIL ..... 

THE STAR BEARER . 

EVENTIDE . 

HELEN KELLER 

PORTRAIT D'UNE DAME ESPAGNOLE 

vii 



PAGE 

3 

5 

8 

io 

14 
16 
18 

22 
2 4 
30 
32 

34 
38 
39 
41 



CONTENTS 

A SEA-CHANGE, AT KELP ROCK . . 43 

HAREBELL ...... 48 

THE PILGRIMS ..... 51 

MORS BENEFICA . . . . 52 

PROEM TO A VICTORIAN ANTHOLOGY . 53 

ON WHITE CARNATIONS GIVEN ME FOR MY 

BIRTHDAY ...... 54 

FATHER JARDINE ..... 55 

FIN DE SIECLE ...... 58 



II 

OTHER SONGS AND BALLADS 

FALSTAFF'S SONG 65 

PROVENCAL LOVERS ..... 67 

THE WEDDING-DAY . . . . 70 

THE DUTCH PATROL ..... 72 

WITCHCRAFT, I., A. D. 1692 ... 77 

" II., A. D. 1884 ... 79 

AARON BURR'S WOOING . . . . 81 

COUSIN LUCRECE . . . . .84 

HUNTINGTON HOUSE .... 89 

CENTURIA . . . . . . 92 

INSCRIPTIONS ..... 94 

viii 



CONTENTS 
III 

COMMEMORATIONS 

THE DEATH OF BRYANT . . . • 97 

GIFFORD ...... 103 

CORDA CONCORDIA . . . . .105 

ON A GREAT MAN WHOSE MIND IS CLOUDING 115 

ON THE DEATH OF AN INVINCIBLE SOLDIER . 116 

LIBERTY ENLIGHTENING THE WORLD . 1 19 

AD VIGILEM 122 

"ERGO IRIS" 123 

W. W. . . . . . . .124 

BYRON ....... 125 

YALE ODE FOR COMMENCEMENT DAY . 130 

" UBI SUNT QUI ANTE NOS ? " . . . 132 



IV 
THE CARIB SEA 



KENNST DU 



14] 



SARGASSO WEED ..... 1 

CASTLE ISLAND LIGHT 

CHRISTOPHE 

ix 



45 

[ 47 
'53 



CONTENTS 

LA SOURCE 155 

TO L. H. S. . . . . . . 159 

JAMAICA ....... 162 

CREOLE LOVER'S SONG .... 166 

THE ROSE AND THE JASMINE . . .169 

FERN-LAND i 74 

MORGAN ....... 181 

CAPTAIN FRANCISCA . . . . ^4 

PANAMA ....... 190 

MARTINIQUE IDYL . . . . I92 

ASTRA CAELI ...... 196 



V 
ARIEL 



ARIEL . 



Note — Having delayed collecting my own poems of recent years, 
I now find them so various in theme, motive, and expression as to 
render their arrangement a somewhat difficult task. The plan finally 
adopted seems as good as any other. With few exceptions, the pieces 
within each of the general divisions are given in the order of their com- 
position as shown by the respective dates. The Caribbean series has 
been completed for this volume, and much of it appears for the first 
time. 

E. C. S. 



Thou, — whose endearing hand once laid in sooth 
Upon thy follower, no want thenceforth, 
Nor toil, nor joy and pain, nor waste of years 
Filled with all cares that deaden and subdue, 
Can make thee less to him — can make thee less 
Than sovereign queen, his first liege, and his last 
Remembered to the unconscious dying hour, — 
Return and be thou kind, bright Spirit of song, 
Thou whom I yet loved most, loved most of all 
Even when I left thee — 7, now so long strayed 
From thy beholding ! And renew, renew 
Thy gift to me fain clinging to thy robe ! 
Still be thou kind, for still thou wast most dear. 

1897 



VARIOUS POEMS 



MUSIC AT HOME 

I sat beneath a fragrant tasselled tree, 
Whose trunk encoiling vines had made to be 
A glossy fount of leafage. Sweet the air, 
Far-off the smoke-veiled city and its care, 
Precious and near the book within my hand — 
The deathless song of that immortal land 
Wherefrom Keats took his young Endymion 
And laurelled bards enow their wreaths have 

won; — 
When from some topmost spray began to chant 
And flute, and trill, a warbling visitant, 
A cat-bird, riotous the world above, 
Hasting to spend his heritage ere love 
Should music change to madness in his throat, 
Leaving him naught but one discordant note. 
And as my home-bred chorister outvied 
The nightingale, old England's lark beside, 
I thought — What need to borrow ? Lustier clime 
Than ours Earth has not, — nor her scroll a time 
Ampler of human glory and desire 
To touch the plume, the brush, the lips, with fire ; 
3 



MUSIC AT HOME 

No sunrise chant on ancient shore and sea, 
Since sang the morning stars, more worth shall be 
Than ours, once uttered from the very heart 
Of the glad race that here shall act its part. 
Blithe prodigal, the rhythm free and strong 
Of thy brave voice forecasts our poet's song ! 
4 



THE HAND OF LINCOLN 

Look on this cast, and know the hand 

That bore a nation in its hold : 
From this mute witness understand 

What Lincoln was, — how large of mould 



The man who sped the woodman's team, 
And deepest sunk the ploughman's share, 

And pushed the laden raft astream, 
Of fate before him unaware. 



This was the hand that knew to swing 

The axe — since thus would Freedom train 

Her son — and made the forest ring, 
And drove the wedge, and toiled amain. 



Firm hand, that loftier office took, 
A conscious leader's will obeyed, 

And, when men sought his word and look, 
With steadfast might the gathering swayed. 

5 



THE HAND OF LINCOLN 

No courtier's, toying with a sword, 
Nor minstrel's, laid across a lute ; 

A chief's, uplifted to the Lord 

When all the kings of earth were mute 



The hand of Anak, sinewed strong, 
The fingers that on greatness clutch ; 

Yet, lo ! the marks their lines along 
Of one who strove and suffered much. 



For here in knotted cord and vein 
I trace the varying chart of years ; 

I know the troubled heart, the strain, 
The weight of Atlas — and the tears. 



Again I see the patient brow 

That palm erewhile was wont to press ; 
And now 't is furrowed deep, and now 

Made smooth with hope and tenderness. 



For something of a formless grace 
This moulded outline plays about; 

A pitying flame, beyond our trace, 
Breathes like a spirit, in and out, — 
6 



THE HAND OF LINCOLN 

The love that cast an aureole 

Round one who, longer to endure, 

Called mirth to ease his ceaseless dole, 
Yet kept his nobler purpose sure. 



Lo, as I gaze, the statured man, 

Built up from yon large hand, appears 

A type that Nature wills to plan 
But once in all a people's years. 



What better than this voiceless cast 

To tell of such a one as he, 
Since through its living semblance passed 

The thought that bade a race be free! 

1883 

7 



NOCTURNE 

The silent world is sleeping, 
And spirits hover nigh, 

With downward pinions keeping 
Our love from mortal eye, 

Nor any ear of Earth can hear 
The heart-beat and the sigh. 



Now no more the twilight bird 
Showers his triple notes around ; 

In the dewy paths is heard 
No rude footfall's sound. 

In the stillness I await 
Thy coming late, 

In the dusk would lay my heart 
Close to thine own, and say how dear thou art ! 



O life ! O rarest hour ! 

When the dark world onward rolls, 
And the fiery planets drift, 

Then from our commingled souls 
8 



NOCTURNE 



Clouds of passion and of power, 
Flames of incense, lift ! 



Come, for the world is turning 

To meet the morning star ! 
Answer my spirit's yearning 

And seek the arms that call thee from afar 
Let them close — ah, let them close 
Around thee now, and lure thee to repose. 
1878 

9 



a Y E TOMBE OF YE POET CHAUCER" 



Abbot and monks of Westminster 

Here placed his tomb, in all men's view. 
" Our Chaucer dead ? " — King Harry said, - 
" A mass for him, and burial due ! " 
This very aisle his footsteps knew ; 
Here Gower's benediction fell, — 

Brother thou were and minstral trewe ; 
Now slepe thou we/. 



There died with that old century's death, 

I wot, five hundred years ago, 
One whose blithe heart, whose morning art, 

Made England's Castaly to flow. 

He in whose song that fount we know, 
With every tale the skylarks tell, 

Had right, Saint Bennet's wall below 
To slumber well. 



Eftsoons his master piously 

In Surrey hied him to his rest ; 

10 



"YE TOMBE OF YE POET CHAUCER 

The Thames, between their closes green, 
Parted these warblers breast from breast, — 
The gravest from the joyfulest 

Whose notes the matin chorus swell : 
A league divided, east and west, 
They slumber well. 



Is there no care in holy ground 

The world's deep undertone to hear ? 
Can this strong sleep our Chaucer keep 

When May-time buds and blossoms peer ? 

Less strange that many a sceptred year, 
While the twin houses towered and fell, 

Alike through England's pride and fear, 
He slumbered well. 



The envious Roses woefully 

By turns a bleeding kingdom sway ; 
Thrones topple down, — to robe and crown 
Who comes at last must hew his way. 
No sound of all that piteous fray, 
Nor of its ceasing, breaks the spell ; 
Still on, to great Eliza's day, 
He slumbers well. 
ii 



U Y E TOMBE OF YE POET CHAUCER" 

Methinks, had Shakespeare lightly walked 

Anear him in the minster old, 
He would have heard, — his sleep had stirred 

With dreams of wonders manifold ; 

Even though no sad vibration told 
His ear when sounded Mary's knell, — 

Though, when the mask on Charles laid hold, 
He slumbered well. 



In climes beyond his calendar 

The latest century's splendors grow; 
London is great, — the Abbey's state 

A young world's eager wanderers know ; 

New songs, new minstrels, come and go ; 
Naught as of old outside his cell, — 

Just as of old, within it low, 
He slumbers well. 



And now, when hawthorn is in flower, 
And throstles sing as once sang he, 

In this last age, on pilgrimage 

Like mine from lands that distant be, 
Come youths and maidens, summer-free, 

Where shades of bards and warriors dwell, 
And say, " The sire of minstrelsy 
Here slumbers well ; " 



"YE TOMBE OF YE POET CHAUCER." 

And say, " While London's Abbey stands 

No less shall England's strength endure ! " 
Ay, though its old wall crumbling fall, 
Shall last her song's sweet overture ; 
Some purling stream shall flow, be sure, 
From out the ivied heap, to tell 

That here the fount of English pure 
Long slumbered well. 
1879 

13 



THE CONSTANT HEART 

Sadde songe is out of season 

When birdes and lovers mate, 
When soule to soule must paye swete toll 

And fate be joyned with fate ; 
Sadde songe and wofull thought controle 

This constant heart of myne, 
And make newe love a treason 

Unto my Valentine. 



How shall my wan lippes utter 

Their summons to the dedde, — 
Where nowe repeate the promise swete, 

So farre my love hath fledd ? 
My onely love ! What musicke fleet 

Shall crosse the walle that barres ? 
To earthe the burthen mutter, 

Or singe it to the Starrs ? 



Perchance she dwelles a spirite 
In beautye undestroyed 
H 



THE CONSTANT HEART 

Where brightest Starrs are closely sett 
Farre out beyonde the voyd ; 

If Margaret be risen yet 

Her looke will hither turne, 

I knowe that she will heare it, 
And all my trewe heart learne. 



But if no resurrection 

Unseale her dwellinge low, 
If one so fayre must bide her there 

Until the trumpe shall blowe, 
Nathlesse shall Love outvie Despaire, 

(Whilst constant heart is myne) 
And, robbed of her perfection, 

Be faithfull to her shrine. 



At this blythe season bending 

He whisper to the clodde, 
To the chill grasse where shadowes passe 

And leaflesse branches nodde ; 
There keepe my watche, and crye — Alas 

That Love may not forget, 
That Joye must have swifte ending 

And Life be laggard yet ! 



15 



GUESTS AT YULE 

Noel! Noel! 
Thus sounds each Christmas bell 
Across the winter snow. 
But what are the little footprints all 
That mark the path from the church-yard wall ? 
They are those of the children waked to-night 
From sleep by the Christmas bells and light : 
Ring sweetly, chimes ! Soft, soft, my rhymes ! 
Their beds are under the snow. 



Noel! Noel! 
Carols each Christmas bell. 
What are the wraiths of mist 
That gather anear the window-pane 
Where the winter frost all day has lain ? 
They are soulless elves, who fain would peer 
Within, and laugh at our Christmas cheer : 

Ring fleetly, chimes ! Swift, swift, my rhymes ! 
They are made of the mocking mist. 
16 



GUESTS AT YULE 

Noel! Noel! 
Cease, cease, each Christmas bell ! 
Under the holly bough, 
Where the happy children throng and shout, 
What shadow seems to flit about ? 
Is it the mother, then, who died 
Ere the greens were sere last Christmas-tide ? 
Hush, falling chimes ! Cease, cease, my 
rhymes ! 
The guests are gathered now. 



i7 



THE OLD PICTURE-DEALER 

The second landing-place. Above, 

Sun-pictures for a shilling each. 
Below, a haunt that Teutons love, — 

Beer, smoke and pretzels all in reach. 
Between the two, a mouldy nook 

Where loungers hunt for things of worth 
Engraving, curio, or book — 

Here drifted from all over Earth. 



Be the day's traffic more or less, 

Old Brian seeks his Leyden chair 
Placed in the ante-room's recess, 

Our connoisseur's securest lair : 
Here, turning full the burner's rays, 

Holds long his treasure-trove in sight, 
Upon a painting sets his gaze 

Like some devoted eremite. 



The book-worms rummage as they will, 
Loud roars the wonted Broadway din, 
18 



THE OLD PICTURE-DEALER 

Life runs its hackneyed round, — but stil 
One tireless boon can Brian win, — 

Can picture in this modern time 

A life no more the world shall know, 

And dream of Beauty at her prime 
In Parma, with Correggio. 



Withered the dealer's face, and old, 

But wearing yet the first surprise 
Of him whose eyes the light behold 

Of Italy and Paradise : 
Forever blest, forever young, 

The rapt Madonna poises there, 
Her praise by hovering cherubs sung, 

Her robes by ether buoyed, not air. 



See from the graybeard's meerschaum float 

A cloud of incense ! Day or night, 
He needs must steal apart to note 

Her grace, her consecrating light. 
With less ecstatic worship lay, 

Before his marble goddess prone, 
The crippled poet, that last day 

When in the Louvre he made his moan. 
19 



THE OLD PICTURE-DEALER 

Warm grows the radiant masterpiece, 

The sweetness of Correggio ! 
The visionary hues increase, 

Angelic lustres come and go ; 
And still, as still in Parma too, — 

In Rome, Bologna, Florence, all, — 
Goes on the outer world's ado, 

Life's transitory, harsh recall. 



A real Correggio ? And here ! 

Yes, to the one impassioned heart, 
Transfiguring all, the strokes appear 

That mark the perfect master's art. 
You question of the proof ? You owe 

More faith to fact than fancy ? Hush ! 
Look with expectant eyes, and know, 

With him, the hand that held the brush ! 



The same wild thought that warmed from stone 

The Venus of the monkish Gest, 
The image of Pygmalion, 

Here finds Correggio confest. 
And Art requires its votary : 

The Queen of Heaven herself may pine 
When these quaint rooms no longer see 

The one that knew her all divine. 
20 



THE OLD PICTURE-DEALER 

Ah, me ! ah me, for centuries veiled ! 

(The desolate Virgin then may say,) 
Once more my rainbow tints are paled 

With that unquestioning soul away — 
Whose faith compelled the sun, the stars, 

To yield their halos for my sake, 
And saw through Time's obscuring bars 

The Parmese master's glory break ! 

1883 

21 



THE WORLD WELL LOST 

That year ? Yes, doubtless I remember still, — 

Though why take count of every wind that 

blows ! 

'T was plain, men said, that Fortune used me 

ill 

That year, — the self-same year I met with Rose. 



Crops failed ; wealth took a flight ; house, treasure, 
land, 
Slipped from my hold — thus plenty comes and 
goes. 
One friend I had, but he too loosed his hand 
(Or was it I ?) the year I met with Rose. 



There was a war, I think ; some rumor, too, 
Of famine, pestilence, fire, deluge, snows ; 

Things went awry. My rivals, straight in view, 
Throve, spite of all ; but I, — I met with Rose. 



THE WORLD WELL LOST 

That year my white-faced Alma pined and died : 
Some trouble vexed her quiet heart, — who 
knows ? 

Not I, who scarcely missed her from my side, 
Or aught else gone, the year I met with Rose. 



Was there no more ? Yes, that year life began : 

All life before a dream, false joys, light woes, — 
All after-life compressed within the span 

Of that one year, — the year I met with Rose ! 
1883 

23 



HEBE 

See, what a beauty ! Half-shut eyes, — 

Hide all buff, and without a break 
To the tail's brown tuft that mostly lies 

So quiet one thinks her scarce awake ; 
But pass too near, one step too free, 

You find her slumber a devil's truce : 
Up comes that paw, — all plush, you see, 

Out four claws, fit for Satan's use. 



'Ware ! Just a sleeve's breadth closer then, 

And your last appearance on any stage ! 
Loll, if you like, by Daniel's Den, 

But clear and away from Hebe's cage : — 
That 's Hebe ! listen to that purr, 

Rumbling as from the ground below : 
Strange, when the ring begins to stir, 

The fleshings always vex her so. 



You think 't were a rougher task by far 
To tame her mate with the sooty mane ? 
24 



HEBE 

A splendid bronze for a showman's car, 
And listless enough for bit and rein. 

But Hebe is — just like all her sex — 
Not good, then bad, — be sure of that : 

In either case 't would a sage perplex 

To make them out, both woman and cat. 



A curious record, Hebe's. Reared 

In Italy ; age, — that 's hard to fix ; 
Trained from a cub, until she feared 

The lash, and learned her round of tricks ; 
Always a traveller, — one of two 

A woman-tamer took in hand, 
Whipped them, coaxed them, — and so they grew 

To fawn or cower at her command. 



None but Fiorina — that was her name 

And this the story of Hebe here — 
Entered their cage ; the brutes were tame 

As kittens, though, their mistress near. 
A tall, proud wench as ever was seen, 

Supple and handsome, full of grace : 
The world would bow to a real queen 

That had Fiorina's form and face. 
25 



HEBE 

Her lover — for one she had, of course — 

Was Marco, acrobat, circus-star, 
The lightest foot on a running horse, 

The surest leap from a swinging bar ; 
And she, — so jealous he dared not touch 

A woman's hand, and, truth to say, 
He had no humor to tease her much 

Till a girl in spangles crossed their way. 



'T was at Marseilles, the final scene : 

This pretty rider joined the ring, 
Ma'am'selle Celeste or Victorine, 

And captured him under Fiorina's wing. 
They hid their meetings, but when, you see, 

Doubt holds the candle, love will show, 
And in love's division the one of three, 

Whose share is lessened, needs must know. 



One night, then, after the throng outpoured 

From the show, and the lions my Lady's power 

Had been made to feel, with lash that scored 
And eye that cowed them, a snarling hour ; — 

(They were just in the mood for pleasantry 
Of those holidays when saints were thrown 
26 



HEBE 



To beasts, and the Romans, entrance-free, 

Clapped hands;) — that night, as she stood 
alone, 



Fiorina, Queen of the Lions, called 

Sir Marco toward her, while her hand 
Still touched the spring of a door that walled 

Her subjects safe within Lion-land. 
He came there panting, hot from the ring, 

So brave a figure that one might know 
Among all his tribe he must be king, — 

If in some wild tract you met him so. 



" Do you love me still," she asked, " as when 

You swore it first ? " " Have never a doubt ! " 
" But I have a fancy — men are men, 

And one whim drives another out," — 
" What fancy ? Is this all ? Have done : 

You tire me." " Look you, Marco ! oh, 
I should die if another woman won 

Your love, — but would kill you first, you 
know ! " 



" Kill me ? and how, — with a jealous tongue ? " 
" Thus ! " quoth Fiorina, and slipped the bolt 
27 



HEBE 

Of the cage's door, and headlong flung 
Sir Marco, ere he could breathe, the dolt ! 

Plump on the lion he bounced, and fell 
Beyond, and Hebe leapt for him there, — 

No need for their lady's voice to tell 
The work in hand for that ready pair. 



They say one would n't have cared to see 

The group commingled, man and beast, 
Or to hear the shrieks and roars, — all three 

One red, the feasters and the feast ! 
Guns, pistols, blazed, till the lion sprawled, 

Shot dead, but Hebe held to her prey 
And drank his blood, while keepers bawled 

And their hot irons made yon scars that day. 



But the woman ? True, I had forgot : 

She never flinched at the havoc made, 
Nor gave one cry, but there on the spot 

Drove to the heart her poniard-blade, 
Straight, like a man, and fell, nor stirred 

Again ; — so that fine pair were dead ; 
One lied, and the other kept her word, — 

And death pays debts, when all is said. 
28 



HEBE 

So they hustled Hebe out of France, 

To Spain, or may be to England first. 
Then hitherward over seas, by chance, 

She came as you see her, always athirst, 
As if, like the tigresses that slink 

In the village canes of Hindostan, 
Of one rare draught she loves to think, 

And ever to get it must plan and plan. 



29 



SOUVENIR DE JEUNESSE 

When Sibyl kept her tryst with me, the harvest 
moon was rounded, 
In evening hush through pathways lush with 
fern we reached the glade ; 
The rippling river soft and low with fairy plashes 
sounded, 
The silver poplar rustled as we sat within its 
shade. 



" And why," she whispered, " evermore should 
lovers meet to sunder ? 
Where stars arise in other skies let other lips 
than mine 
Their sorrows lisp, and other hearts at love's delay- 
ing wonder — 
O stay ! " — and soon her tearful eyes were each 
a pearly shrine. 



I soothed her fears and stayed her tears, her hands 
in mine enfolding, 
3° 



SOUVENIR DE JEUNESSE 

And then we cared no more for aught save this 

one hour we had ; 
Upwelled that dreamful selfish tide of young Love's 

rapture, holding 
The fair round world itself in pledge to make 

us still more glad. 



For us the night was musical, for us the meadows 
shining ; 
The summer air was odorous that we might 
breathe and love ; 
Sweet Nature throbbed for us alone — her mother- 
soul divining 
No fonder pair that fleeting hour her zephyrs 
sighed above. 



Amid the nodding rushes the heron drank his tip- 
ple, 
The night-hawk's cry and whir anigh a deeper 
stillness made, 
A thousand little starlights danced upon the river's 
ripple, 
And the silver poplar rustled as we kissed within 

its shade. 
1884 

3i 



A VIGIL 

I walk the lane's dim hollow, — 
Past is the twilight hour, 

But stealthy shadows follow 

And Night withholds her power, 
For somewhere in the eastern sky 

The shrouded moon is high. 



Dews from the wild rose drip unheard, - 
Their unforgotten scent 

With that of woods and grasses blent ; 
No muffled flight of bird, 

No whispering voice, my footfall stops ; 

No breeze amid the poplar-tops 

The smallest leaf has stirred. 



Yet round me, here and there, 
A little fluttering wind 
Plays now, — these senses have divined 

A breath across my hair, — 
A touch, — that on my forehead lies, 
32 



A VIGIL 



And presses long 
These lips so mute of song, 
And now, with kisses cool, my half-shut eyes. 



This night ? O what is here ! 

What viewless aura clings 
So fitfully, so near, 
On this returning eventide 
When Memory will not be denied 
Unfettered wings ? 



My arms reach out, — in vain, — 
They fold the air : 
And yet — that wandering breath again ! 
Too vague to make her phantom plain, 
Too tender for despair. 
1884 

33 



THE STAR BEARER 

There were seven angels erst that spanned 

Heaven's roadway out through space, 
Lighting with stars, by God's command, 
The fringe of that high place 
Whence plumed beings in their joy, 
The servitors His thoughts employ, 
Fly ceaselessly. No goodlier band 
Looked upward to His face. 



There, on bright hovering wings that tire 

Never, they rested mute, 
Nor of far journeys had desire, 
Nor of the deathless fruit ; 
For in and through each angel soul 
All waves of life and knowledge roll, 
Even as to nadir streamed the fire 
Of their torches resolute. 



They lighted Michael's outpost through 
Where fly the armored brood, 
34 



THE STAR BEARER 

And the wintry Earth their omens knew 
Of Spring's beatitude ; 
Rude folk, ere yet the promise came, 
Gave to their orbs a heathen name, 
Saying how steadfast in men's view 
The watchful Pleiads stood. 



All in the solstice of the year, 

When the sun apace must turn, 
The seven bright angels 'gan to hear 
Heaven's twin gates outward yearn : 
Forth with its light and minstrelsy 
A lordly troop came speeding by, 
And joyed to see each cresset sphere 
So gloriously burn. 



Staying his fearless passage then 

The Captain of that host 
Spake with strong voice : " We bear to men 
God's gift the uttermost, 
Whereof the oracle and sign 
Sibyl and sages may divine : 

A star shall blazon in their ken, 
Borne with us from your post. 
35 



THE STAR BEARER 

" This night the Heir of Heaven's throne 

A new-born mortal lies ! 
Since Earth's first morning hath not shone 
Such joy in seraph eyes." 
He spake. The least in honor there 
Answered with longing like a prayer, — 
" My star, albeit thenceforth unknown, 
Shall light for you Earth's skies." 



Onward the blessed legion swept, 

That angel at the head ; 
(Where seven of old their station kept 
There are six that shine instead.) 
Straight hitherward came troop and star; 
Like some celestial bird afar 

Into Earth's night the cohort leapt 
With beauteous wings outspread. 



Dazzling the East beneath it there, 

The Star gave out its rays : 
Right through the still Judean air 
The shepherds see it blaze, — 
They see the plume-borne heavenly throng, 
And hear a burst of that high song 
Of which in Paradise aware 

Saints count their years but days. 

3 6 



THE STAR BEARER 

For they sang such music as, I deem, 

In God's chief court of joys, 
Had stayed the flow of the crystal stream 
And made souls in mid-flight poise ; 
They sang of Glory to Him most High, 
Of Peace on Earth abidingly, 

And of all delights the which, men dream, 
Nor sin nor grief alloys. 



Breathless the kneeling shepherds heard, 

Charmed from their first rude fear, 
Nor while that music dwelt had stirred 
Were it a month or year : 
And Mary Mother drank its flow, 
Couched with her Babe divine, — and, lo ! 
Ere falls the last ecstatic word 
Three Holy Kings draw near. 



Whenas the star-led shining train 

Wheeled from their task complete, 
Skyward from over Bethlehem's plain 
They sped with rapture fleet ; 
And the angel of that orient star, 
Thenceforth where Heaven's lordliest are, 
Stands with a harp, while Christ doth reign, 
A seraph near His feet. 
1887 37 



EVENTIDE 

The sunset fires old Portsmouth spires, 

Out creeps the ebbing tide ; 
Beyond the battery-point I see 

A glimmering schooner glide ; 
White flares the turning Whale-back light, 

The silent ground-swell rolls ; 
Low and afar shines one red star 

Above the Isles of Shoals. 



38 



HELEN KELLER 

Mute, sightless visitant, 
From what uncharted world 
Hast voyaged into Life's rude sea, 

With guidance scant ; 
As if some bark mysteriously 
Should hither glide, with spars aslant 
And sails all furled ? 



In what perpetual dawn, 
Child of the spotless brow, 
Hast kept thy spirit far withdrawn — 

Thy birthright undefiled ? 
What views to thy sealed eyes appear ? 
What voices mayst thou hear 
Speak as we know not how ? 
Of grief and sin hast thou, 
O radiant child, 
Even thou, a share ? Can mortal taint 
Have power on thee unfearing 
The woes our sight, our hearing, 
Learn from Earth's crime and plaint ? 
39 



HELEN KELLER 

Not as we see 
Earth, sky, insensate forms, ourselves, 
Thou seest, — but vision-free 
Thy fancy soars and delves, 
Albeit no sounds to us relate 
The wondrous things 
Thy brave imaginings 
Within their starry night create. 



Pity thy unconfined 
Clear spirit, whose enfranchised eyes 

Use not their grosser sense ? 
Ah, no ! thy bright intelligence 

Hath its own Paradise, 
A realm wherein to hear and see 

Things hidden from our kind. 

Not thou, not thou — 't is we 

Are deaf, are dumb, are blind ! 
1888 

40 



PORTRAIT D'UNE DAME ESPAGNOLE 
(fortuny) 

The hand that drew thee lies in Roman soil, 
Whilst on the canvas thou hast deathless grown, 

Endued by him who deemed it meaner toil 
To give the world a portrait save thine own. 



Yet had he found thy peer, and Rome forborne 
Such envy of his conquest over Time, 

Beauty had waked, and Art another morn 

Had gained, and ceased to sorrow for her prime. 



What spirit was it — where the masters are — 
Brooding the gloom and glory that were Spain, 

Through centuries waited in its orb afar 

Until our age Fortuny's brush should gain ? 



What stroke but his who pictured in their state 
Queen, beggar, noble, Philip's princely brood, 
4i 



PORTRAIT D'UNE DAME ESPAGNOLE 

Could thus the boast of Seville recreate, 

Even when one like thee before him stood ? 



Like thee, own child of Spain, whose beauteous 
pride, 

Desire, disdain, all sins thy mien express, 
Should need no absolution — hadst thou died 

Unhouselled, in their imaged loveliness. 



All this had Fate decreed, — the antique skill, 
The halt, the poise, the long auspicious day, 

Yielding this once, thy triumph to fulfil, 
Velasquez' sceptre to Fortuny's sway. 



Shine from thy cloud of night, fair star, nor fear 

Oblivion, though men thy dust inurn, 
For who may bid thy counterpart appear 
Until the hand that drew thee shall return ! 
1889 

42 



A SEA-CHANGE, AT KELP ROCK 

Just at this full noon of summer 

There 's a touch, unfelt before, 
Charms our Coastland, smoothing from her 

The last crease her forehead wore : 
She, too, drains the sun-god's potion, 

Quits her part of anchorite, 
Smiles to see her leaden ocean 

Sparkle in the austral light ; 



While the tidal depths beneath her 

Palpitate with warmth and love, 
And the infinite pure aether 

Floods the yearning creek and cove, 
Harbor, woodland, promontory, 

Swarded fields that slope between, — 
And our gray tower, tinged with glory, 

Midway flames above the scene. 



On this day of all most luring, 
This one morn of all the year, 
43 



A SEA-CHANGE, AT KELP ROCK 

Read I — soul and body curing 
In the seaward loggia here — 

Once, twice, thrice, that chorus sweetest 
(Fortune's darling, Sophokles !) 

Of the grove whose steeds are fleetest, 
Nurtured by the sacred breeze ; 



Of Kolonos, where in clusters 

Blooms narcissus — where unfold 
Ivied trees their leafy lustres 

And the crocus spreads its gold ; 
Where the nightingales keep singing 

And the streamlets never cease, 
To the son of Laius bringing 

Rest at last, forgiveness, peace. 



Drops the book — but from its prison 

Tell me now what antique spell, 
Through the unclaspt cover risen, 

Moves the waves I know so well ; 
Bids me find in them hereafter, 

Dimpled to their utmost zone 
With the old innumerous laughter, 

An iEgean of my own ? 
44 



AT KELP ROCK 

Even so : the blue i^gean 

Through our tendriled arches smiles, 
And the distant empyrean 

Curves to kiss enchanted isles : 
Isles of Shoals, I know — yet fancy 

This one day shall have free range, 
And yon isles her necromancy 

Shall to those of Hellas change. 



Look ! beyond the lanterned pharos 

Girt with reefs that evermore, 
Lashed and foaming, cry " Beware us ! " 

Cloud-white sails draw nigh the shore 
Sails, methinks, of burnished galleys 

Wafting dark-browed maids within, 
From those island hills and valleys, 

Dread Athene's grace to win. 



Sandalled, coiffed, and white-robed maidens, 

Chanting in their carven boats ; 
List ! and hear anon the cadence 

Of their virginal fresh notes. 
You shall hear the choric hymnos, 

Or some clear prosodion 
Known to Delos, Naxos, Lemnos, 

Isles beneath the eastern sun. 
45 



A SEA-CHANGE, AT KELP ROCK 

'T is the famed iEolian quire 

Bearing Pallas flowers and fruit — 
Some with white hands touch the lyre, 

Some with red lips kiss the flute ; 
You shall see the vestured priestess, 

Violet-crowned, her chalice swing, 
Ere yon cerylus has ceased his 

Swirl upon " the sea-blue wing." 



In the great Panathenaea 

Climbing marble porch and stair, 
Soon before the statued Dea 

Votive baskets they shall bear, 
Sacred palm, and fragrant censer, 

Wine-cups — 

But what vapor hoar, 
What cloud-curtain dense, and denser, 

Looms between them and the shore ? 



Off, thou Norseland Terror, clouding 
Hellas with the jealous wraith 

Which, the gods of old enshrouding, 
Froze their hearts, the poet saith ! 

4 6 



A SEA-CHANGE, AT KELP ROCK 

Vain the cry : from yon abysm 
Now the fog-horn's woeful blast — 

Stern New England's exorcism ! — 
Ends my vision of the past. 

1890 

47 



HAREBELL 



A REPARATION 



" Grant him," I said, " a well-earned name, 
The stage's knight, the keen assayer 
Of parts whence all save greatness came, 
But — not a player. 



u Strange, as of fate's perverseness, this 

Proud, eager soul, this fine-strung creature 
Should seem forever just to miss 
That touch of nature ; 



"The instinct she so lightly gives 

Some fellow at his rivals snarling, 
Some churl who gains the boards, and lives 
Transformed — her darling ! " 



" You think so ? " he replied. " Well, I 
Thought likewise, maugre Lanciotto, 

4 8 



HAREBELL 



And Yorick, though his Cassius nigh 
Won Hamlet's motto. 



But would you learn, as I, his clew 

To nature's heart, and judge him fairly — 
Go see his rustic bard, go view 
His Man o' Airlie. 



" See that defenceless minstrel brought 

From hope to wan despair, from laughter 
To frenzy's moan : the image wrought 
Will haunt you after. 



" Then see him crowned at last ! If such 
A guerdon waits the stricken poet, 
'T were well, you '11 own, to bear as much 
Even die, to know it." 



" Bravo ! " cried I, " I too, the thrill 

Must feel which thus your blood can 
waken." 
And once I saw upon the bill 
That part retaken ; 
49 



HAREBELL 



But leagues of travel stretched between 

Me and that idyl played so rarely : 
And then — his death ! nor had I seen 
« The Man o' Airlie." 



My failure ; not the actor's, loved 

By all to art and nature loyal ; 
Not his, whom Harebell's passion proved 
Of the blood royal. 
1891 

5o 



THE PILGRIMS 

O pilgrim from the Indies ! 

O guest from out the North, 
Where low and dun the midnight sun 

Upon the wave rides forth ! 
What country is most dear of all 

Beneath the heaven blue ? 
The dearest land is one's own land, 

Go search the wide world through. 



O know you not that henceforth 

All countries are as one ? 
Ere summer fail, the world shall hail 

Its golden year begun. 
But still each pilgrim answering names 

The clime that gave him birth: 
One's own land is the dearest land 

Of all fair lands on earth. 

Children's Song, 
Columbian Exposition, 1893 

51 



MORS BENEFICA 

Give me to die unwitting of the day, 

And stricken in Life's brave heat, with senses 
clear : 

Not swathed and couched until the lines ap- 
pear 
Of Death's wan mask upon this withering clay, 
But as that old man eloquent made way 

From Earth, a nation's conclave hushed anear; 

Or as the chief whose fates, that he may hear 
The victory, one glorious moment stay. 
Or, if not thus, then with no cry in vain, 

No ministrant beside to ward and weep, 
Hand upon helm I would my quittance gain 

In some wild turmoil of the waters deep, 

And sink content into a dreamless sleep 
(Spared grave and shroud) below the ancient main. 

1893 

52 



PROEM TO A VICTORIAN 
ANTHOLOGY 

England ! since Shakespeare died no loftier day 
For thee than lights herewith a century's goal, — 
Nor statelier exit of heroic soul 

Conjoined with soul heroic, — nor a lay 

Excelling theirs who made renowned thy sway 
Even as they heard the billows which outroll 
Thine ancient sea, and left their joy and dole 

In song, and on the strand their mantles gray. 

Star-rayed with fame thine Abbey windows loom 
Above his dust, whom the Venetian barge 
Bore to the main ; who passed the twofold 
marge 

To slumber in thy keeping, — yet make room 
For the great Laurifer, whose chanting large 

And sweet shall last until our tongue's far doom. 
1895 

53 



ON WHITE CARNATIONS GIVEN 
ME FOR MY BIRTHDAY 



Exquisite tufts of perfume and of light, 
Fair gift of Summer unto Autumn borne, 

Were but the years ye calendar as white, 
As sweet, as you, Age could not be forlorn. 



Yet, beauteous symbols of my only gain — 

Love, portioned from your givers' envied share, 

Honor, whose laurel at their feet hath lain — 
Make me this night of Life's waste unaware ! 

October 8, 1894 

54 



FATHER JARDINE 

TRINITY CHURCH, ST. LOUIS 



Around his loins, when the last breath had gone 
From the gaunt frame — and death's encroach- 
ing mist, 
A veil betwixt earth left and heaven won, 
Told naught of all it wist — 



Close to the flesh, sore-lashed by waves of pain, 

They found the iron girth that ate his side, 
Its links worn bright : the cruel, secret chain, 
They found it when he died. 



Son of the Church, though worldlings spake her 
creed 
And smiled askance, even in the altar fold, 
This man, this piteous soul, believed indeed 
With the stern faith of old. 
55 



FATHER JARDINE 

Unquestioning aught, aye, in the eager West 
Surcharged with life that mocks the vague un- 
known, 
His ligature of anguish unconfest 
He wore alone — alone. 



Alone ? but trebly welded links of fate 

More lives than one are bidden to endure, 
Forged in a chain's indissoluble weight 
Of agonies more sure. 



His torture was self-torture ; to his soul 

No jest of time irrevocably brought 
A woe more grim than underneath the stole 
His gnawing cincture wrought. 



Belike my garments, — yes, or thine, — conceal 

The sorer wound, the pitiabler throe, 
Not even the traitor Death shall quite reveal 
For his rough mutes to know. 



What the heart hungered for and was denied, 
Still foiled with guerdons for a world to see 

56 



FATHER JARDINE 

And envy it, — this furrows deep and wide 
Its grooves in thee — in me. 



Borne, always borne — what martyrdoms assoil 

The laden soul from hostile chance and blind ? 
Nor time can loose the adamantine coil, 
Nor Azrael unbind. 



Redemption for the priest ! but naught their gain 
Who forfeit still the one thing asked of Earth, 
Knowing all penance light beside this pain — 
All pleasure, nothing worth. 
1894 

57 



FIN DE SlfiCLE 



Now making exit to the outer vast 

Our century speeds, and shall retain no more 
Its perihelion splendor, save to cast 

A search-light on the chartless course before. 



I hear the murmur of our kind, whose eyes 
Follow the spread of that phantasmal ray ; 

Who see as infants see, nor can surmise 
Aright of what is near — what far away. 



I hear the jest, the threnody, the low 

Recount of dreams which down the years have 
fled,— 
Of fair romance now shattered with love's bow, 

Of legend brought to test, and passion dead. 



Dark Science broods in Fancy's hermitage, 

The rainbow fades, — and hushed, they say, is 
Song 

58 



FIN DE SIECLE 



With those high bards who lingering charmed the 
age 
Ere one by one they joined the statued throng. 



I hear the dirge for beauty sped, and faith 
Astray in space and time's far archways lost, 

Till Life itself becomes a tenuous wraith, 

A wandering shade whom wandering shades 
accost. 



Their light sad plaint I hear who thus divine 
The future, counselling that all is done, — 

Naught left for art's sweet touch — but to re- 
fine, 
For courage — but to face the setting sun. 



I hear, yet have no will to falter so. 

We seek out matter's alchemy, and tame 
Force to our needs, but what shall make us know 

Whether the twain are parted, or the same ? 



The same ! then conscious substance, fetterless 
The more when most subdued to Will's con- 
trol, 

59 



FIN DE SIECLE 



Free though in bonds, foredestined to progress. 
Ever, and ever still — the soul, the soul : 



The unvexed spirit, to whose sure intent 
All else is relative. Or large or small, 

The Afrit, cloud or being, free or pent, 
Enshrouds, impenetrates, and masters all. 



No grain of sand too narrow to enfold 
The spirit's incarnation ; no vast land 

And sea, but, readjusted to their mould, 
It deems Atlantis scarce a grain of sand. 



Time's intervals are ages ; planets sleep 
In death, or blaze in living light afar ; 

Thought answers thought ; deep calleth unto 
deep 
Alike within the globule and the star. 



Ay, even the rock-bound globe, which still doth 
feign 
Itself inanimate, itself shall seem 
From yonder void a bead upon the train 

Of heaven's warder rayed with beam on beam. 
60 



FIN DE SIECLE 



Life, when the harper tunes his shrillest string, 
As to low thunder lends a finer ear 

Unseen. Niagara's slow vibrating 
Is but the treble of the greater sphere, 



Whose lightest orchestras such movements play 
As mock the forest's moan, the bass profound 

Of surges that against deep barriers stay 

Their might, in throes which shake the ancient 
ground. 



Will, consciousness, the tenant lord of all, 
Self-tenanted, is still the wrinkled wave 

Which climbs a wave upon the clambering wall 
Beyond, or in the hollow seeks a grave. 



We time the ray, we pulsate with the fling 
Of ether — feel the sure magnetic thrill 

Make answer to each sombre vortex ring 

Whirled with the whirling sun that binds us 
still ; 



That binds us, bound itself from girth to pole 
By some unconquerable deathless force 
61 



FIN DE SIECLE 



Akin to this which thinks, acts, feels, — the soul 
Of man, forever eddying like its source. 



Passion and jest, the laugh and wail of earth, 
High thought and speech, the rare considerings 

Of beauty that to fairer art gives birth, 

The winnowing of poesy's swift wings, — 



These — though the hoary century inurn 

Our great — no gathering mould of time shall 
clod : 
They bide their hour, they pass but to return 
With men, as now, the progeny of God. 
1892 

62 



II 

OTHER SONGS AND BALLADS 



FALSTAFF'S SONG 



Where 's he that died o' Wednesday ? 

What place on earth hath he ? 
A tailor's yard beneath, I wot, 

Where worms approaching be ; 
For the wight that died o' Wednesday, 

Just laid the light below, 
Is dead as the varlet turned to clay 

A score of years ago. 



Where 's he that died o' Sabba' day ? 

Good Lord, I 'd not be he ! 
The best of days is foul enough 

From this world's fare to flee ; 
And the saint that died o' Sabba' day, 

With his grave turf yet to grow, 
Is dead as the sinner brought to pray 

A hundred years ago. 



Where 's he that died o' yesterday ? 
What better chance hath he 

65 



FALSTAFF S SONG 

To clink the can and toss the pot 
When this night's junkets be ? 

For the lad that died o' yesterday 
Is just as dead — ho ! ho ! — 

As the whoreson knave men laid away 
A thousand years ago. 
66 



PROVENCAL LOVERS 

AUCASSIN AND NICOLETTE 

Within the garden of Beaucaire 
He met her by a secret stair, — 
The night was centuries ago. 
Said Aucassin, " My love, my pet, 
These old confessors vex me so ! 
They threaten all the pains of hell 
Unless I give you up, ma belle ; " • 
Said Aucassin to Nicolette. 



" Now, who should there in Heaven be 
To fill your place, ma tres-douce mie ? 
To reach that spot I little care ! 
There all the droning priests are met ; 
All the old cripples, too, are there 
That unto shrines and altars cling 
To filch the Peter-pence we bring ; " — 
Said Aucassin to Nicolette. 

67 



PROVENCAL LOVERS 

u There are the barefoot monks and friars 
With gowns well tattered by the briars, 
The saints who lift their eyes and whine : 
I like them not — a starveling set ! 
Who 'd care with folk like these to dine ? 
The other road 't were just as well 
That you and I should take, ma belle ! " - 
Said Aucassin to Nicolette. 



" To purgatory I would go 
With pleasant comrades whom we know, 
Fair scholars, minstrels, lusty knights 
Whose deeds the land will not forget, 
The captains of a hundred fights, 
The men of valor and degree : 
We '11 join that gallant company," — 
Said Aucassin to Nicolette. 



" There, too, are jousts and joyance rare, 
And beauteous ladies debonair, 
The pretty dames, the merry brides, 
Who with their wedded lords coquette 
And have a friend or two besides, — 
And all in gold and trappings gay, 
With furs, and crests in vair and gray j : 
Said Aucassin to Nicolette. 
68 



PROVEN9AL LOVERS 

" Sweet players on the cithern strings, 
And they who roam the world like kings, 
Are gathered there, so blithe and free ! 
Pardie ! I 'd join them now, my pet, 
If you went also, ma douce mie ! 
The joys of heaven I 'd forego 
To have you with me there below," — 
Said Aucassin to Nicolette. 

1878 

69 



THE WEDDING-DAY 



Sweetheart, name the day for me 
When we two shall wedded be. 
Make it ere another moon, 
While the meadows are in tune, 
And the trees are blossoming, 
And the robins mate and sing. 
Whisper, love, and name a day 
In this merry month of May. 



No, no, no, 
You shall not escape me so ! 
Love will not forever wait ; 
Roses fade when gathered late. 



ii 



Fie, for shame, Sir Malcontent ! 
How can time be better spent 

70 



THE WEDDING-DAY 

Than in wooing ? I would wed 
When the clover blossoms red, 
When the air is full of bliss, 
And the sunshine like a kiss. 
If you 're good I '11 grant a boon : 
You shall have me, sir, in June. 



Nay, nay, nay, 
Girls for once should have their way ! 
If you love me, wait till June : 
Rosebuds wither, picked too soon. 

1878 

7i 



THE DUTCH PATROL 

When Christmas-Eve is ended, 

Just at the noon of night, 
Rare things are seen by mortal een 

That have the second sight. 
In St. Mark's church-yard then 

They see the shape arise 
Of him who ruled Nieuw Amsterdam 

And here in slumber lies. 



His face, beneath the close black cap, 

Has a martial look and grim ; 
On either side his locks fall wide 

To the broad collar's rim ; 
His sleeves are slashed ; the velvet coat 

Is fashioned Hollandese 
Above his fustian breeches, trimmed 

With scarf-knots at the knees. 



His leg of flesh is hosed in silk ; 
His wooden leg is bound, 

72 



THE DUTCH PATROL 

As well befits a conqueror's, 
With silver bands around. 

He reads the lines that mark 
His tablet on the wall, 

Where boldly Petrus Stuyvesant 
Stands out beyond them all. 



" 'T is well ! " he says, and sternly smiles, 

" They hold our memory dear ; 
Nor rust nor moss hath crept across ; 

'T will last this many a year." 
Then down the path he strides, 

And through the iron gate, 
Where the sage Nine Men, his councillors, 

Their Governor await. 



Here are Van der Donck and Van Cortlandt, 

A triplet more of Vans, 
And Hendrick Kip of the haughty lip, 

And Govert Loockermans, 
Jan Jansen Dam, and Jansen, 

Of whom our annals tell, — 
All risen this night their lord to greet 

At sound of the Christmas bell. 
73 



THE DUTCH PATROL 

Nine lusty forms in linsey coats, 

Puffed sleeves and ample hose ! 
Each burgher smokes a Flemish pipe 

To warm his ancient nose ; 
The smoke-wreaths rise like mist, 

The smokers all are mute, 
Yet all, with pipes thrice waving slow, 

Brave Stuyvesant salute. 



Then into ranks they fall, 

And step out three by three, 
And he of the wooden leg and staff 

In front walks solemnly. 
Along their wonted course 

The phantom troop patrol, 
To see how fares Nieuw Amsterdam, 

And what the years unroll. 



Street after street and mile on mile, 

From river bound to bound, 
From old St. Mark's to Whitehall Point, 

They foot the limits round ; 
From Maiden Lane to Corlaer's Hook 

The Dutchmen's pypen glow, 
But never a word from their lips is heard, 

And none their passing know. 
74 



THE DUTCH PATROL 

Ere the first streak of dawn 

St. Mark's again they near, 
And by a vault the Nine Men halt, 

Their Governor's voice to hear. 
Mynheeren," he says, "ye see 

Each year our borders spread ! 
Lo, one by one, the landmarks gone, 

And marvels come instead ! 



" Not even a windmill left, 

Nor a garden-plot we knew, 
And but a paling marks the spot 

Where erst my pear-tree grew. 
Our walks are wearier still, — 

Perchance and it were best, 
So little of worth is left on earth, 

To break no more our rest ? " 



Thus speaks old Petrus doubtfully 

And shakes his valiant head, 
When — on the roofs a sound of hoofs, 

A rattling, pattering tread ! 
The bells of reindeer tinkle, 

The Dutchmen plainly spy 
St. Nicholas, who drives his team 

Across the roof-tops nigh. 
75 



THE DUTCH PATROL 

" Beshrew me for a craven ! " 

Cries Petrus — " All goes well ! 
Our patron saint still makes his round 

At sound of the Christmas bell. 
So long as stanch St. Nicholas 

Shall guard these houses tall, 
There shall come no harm from hostile arm 

No evil chance befall ! 



" The yongens and the meisjes 

Shall have their hosen filled ; 
The butcher and the baker, 

And every honest guild, 
Shall merrily thrive and flourish ; 

Good-night, and be of cheer ; 
We may safely lay us down again 

To sleep another year ! " 



Once more the pipes are waved, 

Stout Petrus gives the sign, 
The misty smoke enfolds them round, — 

Him and his burghers nine. 
All, when the cloud has lifted, 

Have vanished quite away, 

And the crowing cock and steeple clock 

Proclaim 't is Christmas-Day. 
1882 76 



WITCHCRAFT 



A. D. 1692 



Soe, Mistress Anne, faire neighbour myne, 

How rides a witche when nighte-winds blowe ? 

Folk saye that you are none too goode 

To joyne the crewe in Salem woode, 

When one you wot of gives the signe : 

Righte well, methinks, the pathe you knowe. 



In Meetinge-time I watched you well, 
Whiles godly Master Parris prayed : 

Your folded hands laye on your booke ; 

But Richard answered to a looke 

That fain would tempt him unto hell, 

Where, Mistress Anne, your place is made. 



You looke into my Richard's eyes 

With evill glances shamelesse growne ; 
I found about his wriste a hair, 
And guesse what fingers tyed it there : 

11 



WITCHCRAFT 



He shall not lightly be your prize — 
Your Master firste shall take his owne. 



'T is not in nature he should be 

(Who loved me soe when Springe was greene) 
A childe, to hange upon your gowne ! 
He loved me well in Salem Towne 
Until this wanton witcherie 

His hearte and myne crept dark betweene. 



Last Sabbath nighte, the gossips saye, 

Your goodman missed you from his side. 

He had no strength to move, untill 

Agen, as if in slumber still, 

Beside him at the dawne you laye. 

Tell, nowe, what meanwhile did betide. 



Dame Anne, mye hate goe with you fleete 

As driftes the Bay fogg overhead — 
Or over yonder hill-topp, where 
There is a tree ripe fruite shall bear 
When, neighbour myne, your wicked feet 
The stones of Gallowes Hill shall tread. 
78 



WITCHCRAFT 



II 



A. D. 



Our great-great-grandpapas had schooled 

Your fancies, Lita, were you born 
In days when Cotton Mather ruled 

And damask petticoats were worn ! 
Your pretty ways, your mocking air, 

Had passed, mayhap, for Satan's wiles 
As fraught with danger, then and there, 

To you, as now to us your smiles. 



Why not ? Were inquest to begin, 

The tokens are not far to seek : 
Item — the dimple of your chin ; 

Item — that freckle on your cheek. 
Grace shield his simple soul from harm 

Who enters yon flirtation niche, 
Or trusts in whispered counter-charm, 

Alone with such a parlous witch ! 



Your fan a wand is, in disguise ; 

It conjures, and we straight are drawn 
Within a witches' Paradise 

Of music, germans, roses, lawn. 
79 



WITCHCRAFT 



So through the season, where you go, 
All else than Lita men forget : 

One needs no second-sight to know 
That sorcery is rampant yet. 



Now, since the bars no more await 

Fair maids that practise sable arts, 
Take heed, while I pronounce the fate 

Of her who thus ensnares men's hearts : 
In time you shall a wizard meet 

With spells more potent than your own, 
And you shall know your master, Sweet, 

And for these witcheries atone. 



For you at his behest shall wear 

A veil, and seek with him the church, 
And at the altar rail forswear 

The craft that left you in the lurch ; 
But oft thereafter, musing long, 

With smile, and sigh, and conscience-twitch, 
You shall too late confess the wrong — 

A captive and repentant witch. 
1884 

80 



AARON BURR'S WOOING 

From the commandant's quarters on Westchester 

height 
The blue hills of Ramapo lie in full sight ; 
On their slope gleam the gables that shield his 

heart's queen, 
But the redcoats are wary — the Hudson 's between. 
Through the camp runs a jest : " There 's no 

moon — 't will be dark ; 
'T is odds little Aaron will go on a spark ! " 
And the toast of the troopers is : " Pickets, lie low, 
And good luck to the colonel and Widow Pre- 

vost ! " 



Eight miles to the river he gallops his steed, 
Lays him bound in the barge, bids his escort make 

speed, 
Loose their swords, sit athwart, through the fleet 

reach yon shore. 
Not a word — not a plash of the thick-muffled 

oar ! 

81 



AARON BURR'S WOOING 

Once across, once again in the seat and away — 
Five leagues are soon over when love has the say ; 
And " Old Put " and his rider a bridle-path know 
To the Hermitage manor of Madame Prevost. 



Lightly done ! but he halts in the grove's deepest 

glade, 
Ties his horse to a birch, trims his cue, slings his 

blade, 
Wipes the dust and the dew from his smooth, 

handsome face, 
With the 'kerchief she broidered and bordered in 

lace; 
Then slips through the box-rows and taps at the 

hall, 
Sees the glint of a waxlight, a hand white and 

small, 
And the door is unbarred by herself all aglow — 
Half in smiles, half in tears — Theodosia Prevost. 



Alack for the soldier that 's buried and gone ! 
What 's a volley above him, a wreath on his stone, 
Compared with sweet life and a wife for one's view 
Like this dame, ripe and warm in her India fichu ? 
She chides her bold lover, yet holds him more dear, 
For the daring that brings him a night-rider here ; 
82 



AARON BURR S WOOING 

British gallants by day through her doors come 

and go, 
But a Yankee 's the winner of Theo Prevost. 



Where 's the widow or maid with a mouth to be 

kist, 
When Burr comes a-wooing, that long would 

resist ? 
Lights and wine on the beaufet, the shutters all fast, 
And " Old Put " stamps in vain till an hour has 

flown past — 
But an hour, for eight leagues must be covered 

ere day ; 
Laughs Aaron, u Let Washington frown as he 

may, 
When he hears of me next, in a raid on the foe, 
He '11 forgive this night's tryst with the Widow 

Prevost ! " 
1886 

83 



COUSIN LUCRECE 

Here where the curfew 

Still, they say, rings, 
Time rested long ago, 

Folding his wings ; 
Here, on old Norwich's 

Out-along road, 
Cousin Lucretia 

Had her abode. 



Norridge, not Nor-wich 

(See Mother Goose), 
Good enough English 

For a song's use. 
Side and roof shingled, 

All of a piece, 
Here was the cottage 

Of Cousin Lucrece. 



Living forlornly 
On nothing a year, 

8 4 



COUSIN LUCRECE 

How she took comfort 
Does not appear; 

How kept her body, 
On what they gave, 

Out of the poor-house, 
Out of the grave. 



Highly connected ? 

Straight as the Nile 
Down from " the Gard'ners " 

Of Gardiner's Isle ; 
(Three bugles, chevron gules, 

Hand upon sword), 
Great-great-granddaughter 

Of the third lord. 



Bent almost double, 

Deaf as a witch, 
Gout her chief trouble — 

Just as if rich ; 
Vain of her ancestry, 

Mouth all agrin, 
Nose half-way meeting her 

Sky-pointed chin. 

85 



COUSIN LUCRECE 

Ducking her forehead-top, 

Wrinkled and bare, 
With a colonial 

Furbelowed air 
Greeting her next of kin, 

Nephew and niece, — 
Foolish old, prating old 

Cousin Lucrece. 



Once every year she had 

All she could eat : 
Turkey and cranberries, 

Pudding and sweet ; 
Every Thanksgiving, 

Up to the great 
House of her kinsman, was 

Driven in state. 



Oh, what a sight to see, 

Rigged in her best ! 
Wearing the famous gown 

Drawn from her chest, — 
Worn, ere King George's reign 

Here chanced to cease, 
Once by a forbear 

Of Cousin Lucrece. 
86 



COUSIN LUCRECE 

Damask brocaded, 

Cut very low ; 
Short sleeves and finger-mitts 

Fit for a show ; 
Palsied neck shaking her 

Rust-yellow curls, 
Rattling its roundabout 

String of mock pearls ; 



Over her noddle, 

Draggled and stark, 
Two ostrich feathers — 

Brought from the ark. 
Shoes of frayed satin, 

All heel and toe, 
On her poor crippled feet 

Hobbled below. 



My ! how the Justice's 

Sons and their wives 
Laughed ; while the little folk 

Ran for their lives, 
Asking if beldames 

Out of the past, 
Old fairy godmothers, 

Always could last ? 
87 



COUSIN LUCRECE 

No ! One Thanksgiving, 

Bitterly cold, 
After they took her home 

(Ever so old), 
In her great chair she sank, 

There to find peace ; 
Died in her ancient dress — 

Poor old Lucrece. 
1892 

88 



HUNTINGTON HOUSE 

Ladies, Ladies Huntington, your father served, we 
know, 

As aide-de-camp to Washington — you often told 
us so ; 

And when you sat you side by side in that ances- 
tral pew, 

We knew his ghost sat next the door, and very 
proud of you. 



Ladies, Ladies Huntington, like you there are no 

more : 
Nancy, Sarah, Emily, Louise, — proud maidens 

four; 
Nancy tall and angular, Louise a rosy dear, 
And Emily as fine as lace but just a little sere. 



What was it, pray, your life within the mansion 

grand and old, 
Four dormers in its gambrel-roof, their shingles 

grim with mould ? 

8 9 



HUNTINGTON HOUSE 



How dwelt you in your spinsterhood, ye ancient 

virgins lone, 
From infancy to bag-and-muff so resolutely grown ? 



Each Sunday morning out you drove to Parson 

Arms's church, 
As straight as if Time had not left you somehow 

in the lurch ; 
And so lived where your grandfather and father 

lived and died, 
Until you sought them one by one — and last of 

all stayed pride. 



You knew that with them you would lie in that 

old burial ground 
Wherethrough the name of Huntington on vault 

and stone is found, 
Where Norwichtown's first infant male, in sixteen- 

sixty born, 
Grave Christopher, still rests beneath his cherub 

carved forlorn. 



There sleep your warlike ancestors, their feet 
toward the east, 

90 



HUNTINGTON HOUSE 

And thus shall face the Judgment Throne when 

Gabriel's blast hath ceased. 
The frost of years may heave the tomb whereto 

you were consigned, 
And school-boys peer atween the cracks, but you 

— will never mind. 
1894 

9 1 



CENTURIA 

(twelfth night chorus, century association) 

The burthen is all that there is of this song, 

Centuria ! 
Let it sound through the halls where our memories 

throng — 
Where thy dead and thy living commingled belong ; 
Centuria, Centuria, vivat Centuria ! 



Let it sound till the wise and the gentle and brave, 

Centuria, 
Come back from the vale where their soft grasses 

wave, 
And list to our revel and join in the stave ; 
Centuria, Centuria, vivat Centuria ! 



For the pen, lute and gown, and the iris-hued sky, 

Centuria, 
Were theirs, and are ours while the nights still go 
by 

92 



CENTURIA 



With song, wit and wassail, and true hearts anigh. 
Centuria, Centuria, vivat Centuria ! 



Then love as they loved when thine eldest was 
young, 

Centuria ! 
O the comrades that gossipped and painted and 

sung, 
O the smoke-cloud that lingers their places among ! 
Centuria, Centuria, vivat Centuria ! 



And sing as they '11 sing in thy fair years untold, 

Centuria, 
Strong hearts that shall follow, as tender and bold ; 
We may fade, we shall pass, but thou growest not 
old; 
Centuria, Centuria, vivat Centuria ! 
1892 

93 



INSCRIPTIONS 



That border land 'twixt Day and Night be mine, 
And choice companions gathered there to dine, 
With talk, song, mirth, soup, salad, bread and wine. 

Twilight Club, 1883 



II 



At set of sun one lone star rules the skies, 
Night spreads a feast the day's long toil has won : 
Eat, drink, — enough, no more, — and speak, ye 

wise, 
Speak — but enough, no more, at set of sun ! 

Sunset Club, 1 891 

94 * 



Ill 

COMMEMORATIONS 



THE DEATH OF BRYANT 

How was it then with Nature when the soul 

Of her own poet heard a voice which came 
From out the void, " Thou art no longer lent 
To Earth ! " when that incarnate spirit, blent 
With the abiding force of waves that roll, 

Wind-cradled vapors, circling stars that flame, 
She did recall ? How went 
His antique shade, beaconed upon its way 
Through the still aisles of night to universal day ? 



Her voice it was, her sovereign voice, which bade 

The Earth resolve his elemental mould ; 
And once more came her summons : " Long, too 

long, 
Thou lingerest, and charmest with thy song ! 
Return ! return ! " Thus Nature spoke, and 
made 
Her sign ; and forthwith on the minstrel old 
An arrow, bright and strong, 
97 



THE DEATH OF BRYANT 

Fell from the bent bow of the answering Sun, 
Who cried, " The song is closed, the invocation 
done ! " 



But not as for those youths dead ere their prime, 

New-entered on their music's high domain, 
Then snatched away, did all things sorrow own : 
No utterance now like that sad sweetest tone 
When Bion died, and the Sicilian rhyme 

Bewailed •, no sobbing of the reeds that plain 
Rehearsing some last moan 
Of Lycidas ; no strains which skyward swell 
For Adonais still, and still for Asphodel ! 



The Muses wept not for him as for those 

Of whom each vanished like a beauteous star 
Quenched ere the shining midwatch of the night ; 
The greenwood Nymphs mourned not his lost de- 
light ; 
Nor Echo, hidden in the tangled close, 

Grieved that she could not mimic him afar. 
He ceased not from our sight 
Like him who, in the first glad flight of spring, 
Fell as an eagle pierced with shafts from his own 
wing. 

9 8 



THE DEATH OF BRYANT 

This was not Thyrsis ! no, the minstrel lone 

And reverend, the woodland singer hoar, 
Who was dear Nature's nursling, and the priest 
Whom most she loved ; nor had his office ceased 
But for her mandate : " Seek again thine own ; 
The walks of men shall draw thy steps no 
more ! " 

Softly, as from a feast 
The guest departs that hears a low recall, 
He went, and left behind his harp and coronal. 



" Return ! " she cried, " unto thine own return ! 
Too long the pilgrimage ; too long the dream 
In which, lest thou shouldst be companionless, 
Unto the oracles thou hadst access, — 
The sacred groves that with my presence yearn." 
The voice was heard by mountain, dell, and 
stream, 

Meadow and wilderness — 
All fair things vestured by the changing year, 
Which now awoke in joy to welcome one most 
dear. 



" He comes ! " declared the unseen ones that haunt 
The dark recesses, the infinitude 
99 



THE DEATH OF BRYANT 

Of whispering old oaks and soughing pines. 
" He comes ! " the warders of the forest shrines 
Sang joyously. " His spirit ministrant 

Henceforth with us shall walk the underwood, 
Till mortal ear divines 
Its music added to our choral hymn, 
Rising and falling far through archways deep and 
dim ! " 



The orchard fields, the hillside pastures green, 
Put gladness on ; the rippling harvest-wave 
Ran like a smile, as if a moment there 
His shadow poised in the midsummer air 
Above; the cataract took a pearly sheen 
Even as it leapt ; the winding river gave 
A sound of welcome where 
He came, and trembled, far as to the sea 
It moves from rock-ribbed heights where its dark 
fountains be. 



His presence brooded on the rolling plain, 

And on the lake there fell a sudden calm, — 
His own tranquillity ; the mountain bowed 
Its head, and felt the coolness of a cloud, 
And murmured, " He is passing ! " and again 
ioo 



THE DEATH OF BRYANT 

Through all its firs the wind swept like a psalm ; 
Its eagles, thunder-browed, 
In that mist-moulded shape their kinsman knew, 
And circled high, and in his mantle soared from 
view. 



So drew he to the living veil, which hung 
Of old above the deep's unimaged face, 

And sought his own. Henceforward he is free 

Of vassalage to that mortality 

Which men have given a sepulchre among 

The pathways of their kind, — a resting-place 
Where, bending one great knee, 

Knelt the proud mother of a mighty land 

In tenderness, and came anon a plumed band. 



Came one by one the seasons meetly drest, 

To sentinel the relics of their seer. 
First Spring — upon whose head a wreath was set 
Of wind-flowers and the yellow violet — 
Advanced. Then Summer led his loveliest 

Of months, one ever to the minstrel dear 
(Her sweet eyes dewy wet), 
June, and her sisters, whose brown hands entwine 
The brier-rose and the bee-haunted columbine. 
101 



THE DEATH OF BRYANT 

Next, Autumn, like a monarch sad of heart, 

Came, tended by his melancholy days. 
Purple he wore, and bore a golden rod, 
His sceptre ; and let fall upon the sod 
A lone fringed-gentian ere he would depart. 

Scarce had his train gone darkling down the 
ways 

When Winter thither trod, — 
Winter, with beard and raiment blown before, 
That was so seeming like our poet old and hoar. 



What forms are these amid the pageant fair, 

Harping with hands that falter ? What sad 
throng ? 
They wait in vain, a mournful brotherhood, 
And listen where their laurelled elder stood 
For some last music fallen through the air. 

" What cold, thin atmosphere now hears thy 
song ? " 

They ask, and long have wooed 
The woods and waves that knew him, but can 

learn 
Naught save the hollow, haunting cry, " Return ! 
return ! " 
1878 



GIFFORD 



THE CLOSED STUDIO 

This was a magician's cell : 
Beauty's self obeyed his spell ! 
When the air was gloom without, 
Grace and Color played about 
Yonder easel. Many a sprite, 
Golden-winged with heaven's light, 
Let the upper skies go drear, 
Spreading his rare plumage here. 



Skyward now, — alas the day ! — 
See the truant Ariels play ! 
Cloud and air with light they fill, 
Wandering at idle will, 
Nor (with half their tasks undone) 
Stay to mourn the master gone. 
Only in this hollow room, 
Now, the stillness and the gloom. 
103 



GIFFORD 



II 



OF WINTER NIGHTS 



When the long nights return, and find us met 
Where he was wont to meet us, and the flame 
On the deep hearth-stone gladdens as of old, 
And there is cheer, as ever in that place, 
How shall our utmost nearing close the gap 
Known, but till then scarce measured ? Or what 

light 
Of cheer for us, his gracious presence gone, 
His speech delayed, till none shall fail to miss 
That halting voice, yet sure, speaking, it seemed 
The one apt word ? For well the painter knew 
Art's alchemy and law ; her nobleness 
Was in his soul, her wisdom in his speech, 
And loyalty was housed in that true heart, 
Gentle yet strong, and yielding not one whit 
Of right or purpose. Now, not more afar 
The light of last year's Yule fire than the smile 
Of GifFord, nor more irreclaimable 
Its vapor mingled with the wintry air. 
1880 

104 



CORDA CONCORDIA 

READ AT THE OPENING SESSION OF THE SUMMER 
SCHOOL OF PHILOSOPHY, CONCORD, JULY II, I 88 I 

No sandalled footsteps fall, 

Tablet and coronal 
From the Cephissian grove have vanished long, 

Yet in the sacred dale 

Still bides the nightingale 
Easing his ancient heart-break still with song; 

Or is there some dim audience 
Viewless to all save his unclouded sense ? 



Revisit now those glades 
The stately mantled shades 
Whose lips so wear the inexorable spell ? 
Saying, with heads sunk low, 
All that we sought, we know, — 
We know, but not to mortal ears may tell : 

JVo answer unto man's desire 
Shall thus be made, to quench his eager fire. 
105 



CORDA CONCORDIA 

Under these orchard trees 

Still pure and fresh the breeze 
As where the plane-tree whispered to the elm ; * 

The thrush and robin bring 

A new-world offering 
Of song, — nor are we banished from the realm 

Of thought that as the wind is pure, 
And converse deep, and memories that endure. 



Some honey dropped as well, 

Some dew of hydromel 
From wilding meadow-bees, upon the lips 

Of poet and sage who found, 

Here on our own dear ground, 
Light as of old ; who let no dull eclipse 
Obscure this modern sky, where first 
Through perilous clouds the dawn of freedom burst. 



Within this leafy haunt 

Their service ministrant 
Upheld the nobler freedom of the soul. 

How was it hither came 

The message and the flame 
Anew ? Make answer from thine aureole 

1 Aristophanes : Nubes, 995. 
106 



CORDA CONCORDIA 



O mother Nature, thou who best 
Man's heart in all thy ways interpretest ! 



High thoughts of thee brought near 

Unto our minstrel-seer 
The antique calm, the Asian wisdom old, 

Till in his verse we heard 

Of blossom, bee, and bird, 
Of mountain crag and pine, the manifold 

Rich song, — and on the world his eyes 
Dwelt penetrant with vision sweet and wise. 



Whence came the silver tongue 

To one forever young 
Who spoke until our hearts within us burned ? 

This reverend one, who took 

No palimpsest or book, 
But read his soul with glances inward turned, 

While (her rapt forehead like the dawn) 
The Sibyl listened, by that music drawn, 



And from her fearless mouth, 
Where never speech had drouth, 
Gave voice to some old chant of womanhcod, 
Her own imaginings, 
107 



CORDA CONCORDIA 



Like swift, resplendent things, 
Flashing from eyes that knew to beam or brood. 

What sought these shining ones ? What thought 
From preacher-saint have poet and teacher caught ? 



In scorn of meaner use, 

Anon, the young recluse 
Builded his hut beside the woodland lake, 

And set the world far off, 

Though with no will to scoff, 
Thus from the Earth's near breast fresh life to take. 

Against her bosom, heart to heart, 
All Nature's sweets he ravished for his Art. 



The soul's fine instrument, 
Of pains and raptures blent, 

Replied to these clear voices, tone for tone, 
Their cadence answering 
With tuneful sounds that wing 

The upper air a few perchance have known, 
The stormless empyrean, where 

In strength and joy a few move unaware. 



Ah, even thus the thrill 
Of life beyond life's ill 
108 



CORDA CONCORDIA 

To feel betimes our envious selves are fain, — 
Seeing that, as birds in night 
Wind-driven against the light 
Whose unseen armor mocks their stress and 
pain, 
Most men fall baffled in the surge 
That to their cry responds but with a dirge. 



Where broods the Absolute, 
Or shuns our long pursuit 

By fiery utmost pathways out of ken ? 
Fleeter than sunbeams, lo, 
Our passionate spirits go, 

And traverse immemorial space, and then 
Look off, and look in vain, to find 

The master-clew to all they left behind. 



White orbs like angels pass 
Before the triple glass, 
That men may scan the record of each flame, — 
Of spectral line and line 
The legendry divine, — 
Finding their mould the same, and aye the same, 

The atoms that we knew before 
Of which ourselves are made, — dust, and no 
more. 

109 



CORDA CONCORDIA 

So let our defter art 

Probe the warm brain, and part 
Each convolution of the trembling shell : 

But whither now has fled 

The sense to matter wed 
That murmured here ? All silence, such as fell 

When to the shrine beyond the Ark 
The soldiers reached, and found it void and dark. 



Seek elsewhere, and in vain 

The wings of morning chain ; 
Their speed transmute to fire, and bring the Light, 

The co-eternal beam 

Of the blind minstrel's dream ; 
But think not that bright heat to know aright, 

Nor how the trodden seed takes root, 
Waked by its glow, and climbs to flower and fruit. 



Behind each captured law 
Weird shadows give us awe ; 
Press with your swords, the phantoms still evade ; 
Through our alertest host 
Wanders at ease some ghost, 
Now here, now there, by no enchantment laid, 

And works upon our souls its will, 
Leading us on to subtler mazes still. 
no 






CORDA CONCORDIA 

We think, we feel, we are; 

And light, as of a star, 
Gropes through the mist, — a little light is given ; 

And aye from life and death 

We strive, with indrawn breath, 
To somehow wrest the truth, and long have striven, 

Nor pause, though book and star and clod 
Reply, Canst thou by searching find out God ? 



As from the hollow deep 

The soul's strong tide must keep 
Its purpose still. We rest not, though we hear 

No voice from heaven let fall, 

No chant antiphonal 
Sounding through sunlit clefts that open near; 

We look not outward, but within, 
And think not quite to end as we begin. 



For now the questioning age 

Cries to each hermitage, 
Cease not to ask, — or bring again the time 

When the young world's belief 

Made light the mourner's grief 
And strong the sage's word, the poet's rhyme, 
Ere Knowledge thrust a spear-head through 
The temple's veil that priests so closely drew. 



CORDA CONCORDIA 

From what our fate inurns — 
Save that which music yearns 

To speak, in ecstasy none understand, 
And (Oh, how like to it !) 
The half-formed rays that flit, 

Like memories vague, above the further land 
Cry, as the star-led Magi cried, 

We seek, we seek, we will not be denied ! 



Let the blind throng await 

A healer at the gate ; 
Our hearts press on to see what yonder lies, 

Knowing that arch on arch 

Shall loom across the march 
And over portals gained new strongholds rise. 

The search itself a glory brings, 
Though foiled so oft, that seeks the soul of things. 



Some brave discovery, 
Howbeit in vain we try 
To clutch the shape that lures us evermore, 
It shall be ours to make, — 
As, where the waters break 
Upon the margin of a pathless shore, 

They find, who sought for gold alone, 
The sudden wonders of a clime unknown. 
112 



CORDA CONCORDIA 

Such treasure by the way 

Your errantry shall pay, 
Nor shall it aught against your hope prevail 

That not to waking eyes 

The golden clouds arise 
Wherewith our visions clothe the mystic Grail, 

When, in blithe halts upon the road, 
We sleep where pilgrims earlier gone abode. 



After the twelvemonth set 

When as of old they met, 
(A twelvemonth and a day, and kept their tryst), 

And knight to pilgrim told, 

Things given them to behold 
What country found, what gained of all they wist, 

(While ministering hands assign 
To each a share of healing food and wine,) 



So come, — when long grass waves 
Above the holiest graves 
Of them whose ripe adventure chides our own, — 
Come where the great elms lean 
Their quivering leaves and green 
To shade the moss-clung roofs now sacred grown, 

And where the bronze and granite tell 
How Liberty was hailed with Life's farewell. 
113 



CORDA CONCORDIA 

Here let your Academe 

Be no ignoble dream, 
But, consecrate with life and death and song, 

Through the land's spaces spread 

The trust inherited, 
The hope which from your hands shall take no 

wrong, 
And build an altar that may last 
Till heads now young be laurelled with the Past. 
114 



ON A GREAT MAN WHOSE MIND 
IS CLOUDING 

That sovereign thought obscured ? That vision 
clear 
Dimmed in the shadow of the sable wing, 
And fainter grown the fine interpreting 
Which as an oracle was ours to hear ! 
Nay, but the Gods reclaim not from the seer 
Their gift, — although he ceases here to sing, 
And, like the antique sage, a covering 
Draws round his head, knowing what change is 
near. 
1882 

"5 



ON THE DEATH OF AN INVINCIBLE 
SOLDIER 

O what a sore campaign, 

Of which men long shall tell, 

Ended when he was slain — 
When this our greatest fell ! 



For him no mould had cast 
A bullet surely sped ; 

No falchion, welded fast, 
His iron blood had shed. 



Death on the hundredth field 
Had failed to bring him low j 

He was not born to yield 
To might of mortal foe. 



Even to himself unknown, 
He bore the fated sword, 
116 



DEATH OF AN INVINCIBLE SOLDIER 

Forged somewhere near His throne 
Of battles still the Lord. 



That weapon when he drew, 
Back rolled the wrath of men, 

Their onset feebler grew, 
The Nation rose again. 



The splendor and the fame — 
Whisper of these alone, 

Nor say that round his name 
A moment's shade was thrown ; 



Count not each satellite 

'Twixt him and glory's sun, 

The circling things of night ; 
Number his battles won. 



Where then to choose his grave ? 

From mountain unto sea, 
The Land he fought to save 

His sepulchre shall be. 



DEATH OF AN INVINCIBLE SOLDIER 

Yet to its fruitful earth 

His quickening ashes lend, 

That chieftains may have birth, 
And patriots without end. 



His carven scroll shall read : 
Here rests the valiant heart 

Whose duty was his creed, — 
Whose lot, the warrior's part. 



Who, when the fight was done, 

The grim last foe defied, 
Naught knew save victory won, 
Surrendered not — but died. 
1885 

118 



LIBERTY ENLIGHTENING THE 
WORLD 

Warder at ocean's gate, 
Thy feet on sea and shore, 

Like one the skies await 

When time shall be no more ! 

What splendors crown thy brow ? 

What bright dread angel Thou, 
Dazzling the waves before 
Thy station great ? 



My name is Liberty ! 

From out a mighty land 
I face the ancient sea, 

I lift to God my hand ; 
By day in Heaven's light, 
A pillar of fire by night, 
At ocean's gate I stand 
Nor bend the knee. 
119 



LIBERTY ENLIGHTENING THE WORLD 

" The dark Earth lay in sleep, 

Her children crouched forlorn, 
Ere on the western steep 

I sprang to height, reborn : 
Then what a joyous shout 
The quickened lands gave out, 
And all the choir of morn 
Sang anthems deep. 



" Beneath yon firmament, 

The New World to the Old 
My sword and summons sent, 

My azure flag unrolled : 
The Old World's hands renew 
Their strength ; the form ye view 
Came from a living mould 
In glory blent. 



" O ye, whose broken spars 
Tell of the storms ye met, 
Enter ! fear not the bars 

Across your pathway set ; 
Enter at Freedom's porch, 
For you I lift my torch, 
For you my coronet 
Is rayed with stars. 
1 20 



LIBERTY ENLIGHTENING THE WORLD 

" But ye that hither draw- 
To desecrate my fee, 
Nor yet have held in awe 

The justice that makes free, — 
Avaunt, ye darkling brood ! 
By Right my house hath stood : 
My name is Liberty, 
My throne is Law." 



O wonderful and bright, 

Immortal Freedom, hail ! 
Front, in thy fiery might, 

The midnight and the gale ; 
Undaunted on this base 
Guard well thy dwelling-place 
Till the last sun grow pale 
Let there be Light ! 
1888 

121 



AD VIGILEM 



What seest thou, where the peaks about thee 
stand, 

Far up the ridge that severs from our view 

That realm unvisited ? What prospect new 
Holds thy rapt eye ? What glories of the land, 
Which from yon loftier cliff thou now hast 
scanned, 

Upon thy visage set their lustrous hue ? 

Speak, and interpret still, O Watchman true, 
The signals answering thy lifted hand ! 



And bide thee yet ! still linger, ere thy feet 

To sainted bards that beckon bear thee down — 

Though lilies, asphodel and spikenard sweet 
Await thy tread to blossom ; and the crown 

Long since is woven of Heaven's palm-leaves, 
meet 
For him whom Earth can lend no more renown. 

Whittier's Eightieth Birthday 
December 17, 1887 

122 



"ERGO IRIS" 

Weary at length of the ancestral gloom, 

The self-same drone, the patter of dull pens, 
Nature sent Iris of the rosy plume, 

Bearing to Holmes her wonder-working lens ; 
Grateful, he gave his dearest child her name, 

Lit the shrewd East with laughter, love and 
tears, — 
Bade halt the sun — and arching into fame 

His rainbowed fancy now the world enspheres. 

On his Eightieth Birthday 
August 29, 1889 

I23 



w. w. 

Good-bye, Walt ! 
Good-bye, from all you loved of earth — 
Rock, tree, dumb creature, man and woman — 
To you, their comrade human. 
The last assault 
Ends now ; and now in some great world has 

birth 
A minstrel, whose strong soul finds broader wings, 

More brave imaginings. 
Stars crown the hilltop where your dust shall lie, 
Even as we say good-bye, 
Good-bye, old Walt ! 

Lines sent to his funeral 

with an ivy wreath, 

March 30, 1892 

I24 



BYRON 



A hundred years, 't is writ, — O presage vain ! — 
Earth wills her offspring life, ere one com- 
plete 

His term, and rest from travail, and be fain 
To lay him down in natural death and sweet. 



What of her child whose swift divining soul 
With triple fervor burns the torch apace, 

And in one radiant third compacts the whole 
Ethereal flame that lights him on his race ? 



Ay, what of him who to the winds upheld 

A star-like brand, with pride and joy and tears, 

And lived in that fleet course from youth to eld, 
Count them who will, his century of years ? 



The Power that arches heaven's orbway round 
Gave to this planet's brood its soul of fire, 
125 



BYRON 



Its heart of passion, — and for life unbound 
By chain or creed the measureless desire ; 



Gave to one poet these, and manifold 

High thoughts, beyond our lesser mortal share, — 
Gave dreams of beauty, yes, and with a mould 

The antique world had worshipped made him 
fair; 



Then touched his lips with music, — lit his brow, 
Even as a fane upon a sunward hill, 

For strength, gave scorn, the pride that would not 
bow, 
The glorious weapon of a dauntless will. 1 



But that the surcharged spirit — a vapor pent 
In beetling crags — a torrent barriered long 

A wind 'gainst heaven's four winds imminent - 
Might memorably vent its noble song, 



Each soaring gift was fretted with a band 

That deadlier clung which way he fain would 
press : 

126 



BYRON 



His were an adverse age, a sordid land, 
Gauging his heart by their own littleness ; 



Blind guides ! the fiery spirit scorned their curb, 
And Byron's love and gladness, — such the 
wise 

Of ministrants whom evil times perturb, — 
To wrath and melancholy changed their guise. 



Yet this was he whose swift imaginings 
Engirt fair Liberty from clime to clime,— 

From Alp to ocean with an eagle's wings 
Pursued her flight, in Harold's lofty rime. 



Where the mind's freedom was not, could not be, 
That bigot soil he rendered to disdain, 

And sought, like Omar in his revelry, 
At least the semblance of a joy to gain. 



Laughter was at his beck, and wisdom's ruth 
Sore-learned from fierce experiences that test 

Life's masquerade, the carnival of youth, 

The world of man. Then Folly lost her zest, 

127 



BYRON 



Yet left undimmed (her valediction sung 
With Juan's smiles and tears) his natal ray 

Of genius inextinguishably young, — 

An Eos through those mists proclaiming day. 



How then, when to his ear came Hellas' cry, 
He shred the garlands of the wild night's feast, 

And rose a chief, to lead — alas, to die 

And leave men mourning for that music ceased ! 



America! When nations for thy knell 
Listened, one prophet oracled thy part : 

Now, in thy morn of strength, remember well 
The bard whose chant foretold thee as thou art. 



Sky, mount, and forest, and high-sounding main, 
The storm-cloud's vortex, splendor of the day, 

Gloom of the night, — with these abide his 
strain, — 
And these are thine, though he has passed away ; 



Their elemental force had roused to might 

Great Nature's child in this her realm su- 
preme, — 

128 



BYRON 



From their commingling he had guessed aright 
The plenitude of all we know or dream. 



Read thou aright his vision and his song, 

That this enfranchised spirit of the spheres 
May know his name henceforth shall take no 
wrong, 
Outbroadening still yon ocean and these years ! 
1888 

129 



YALE ODE FOR COMMENCEMENT 
DAY 



Hark ! through the archways old 

High voices manifold 
Sing praise to our fair Mother, praise to Yale ! 

The Muses' rustling garments trail ; 
White arms, with myrtle and with laurel wound, 

Bring crowns to her, the Crowned ! 
Youngest and blithest, and awaited long, 
The heavenly maid, sweet Music's child divine, 
With golden lyre and joy of choric song 

Leads all the Sisters Nine. 



ii 



In the gray of a people's morn, 
In the faith of the years to be, 

The sacred Mother was born 

On the shore of the fruitful sea ; 
130 



YALE ODE FOR COMMENCEMENT DAY 

By the shore she grew, and the ancient winds of 

the East 
Made her brave and strong, and her beauteous youth 

increased 
Till the winds of the West, from a wondrous 

land, 
From the strand of the setting sun to the sea of 

her sunrise strand, 
From fanes which her own dear hand hath 

planted in grove and mead and vale, 
Breathe love from her countless sons of might to 

the Mother — breathe praise to Yale. 



in 



Mother of Learning ! thou whose torch 
Starward uplifts, afar its light to bear, — 
Thine own revere thee throned within thy porch, 
Rayed with thy shining hair. 
The youngest know thee still more young, — 
The stateliest, statelier yet than prophet-bard hath 
sung. 
O mighty Mother, proudly set 

Beside the far-inreaching sea, 
None shall the trophied Past forget 
Or doubt thy splendor yet to be ! 

I3 1 



«UBI SUNT QUI ANTE NOS?" 

READ AT THE SEMI-CENTENNIAL MEETING OF 
THE CENTURY ASSOCIATION, JANUARY 13, 1897 

How now are the Others faring ? Where sit 

They all in state ? 
And is there a token that somewhere, beyond the 

muffled gate, 
The vanished and unreturning, whose names our 

memories fill, 
Are holding their upper conclave and are of the 

Century still ? 



Is it all a fancy that somewhere, that somehow, 
the mindful Dead, 

From the first that made his exit to the latest kins- 
man sped, — 

Their vision ourselves unnoting, their shapes by 
ourselves unseen, — 

Have gathered like us, together this night in that 
strange demesne? 
132 



U UBI SUNT QJJI ANTE NOS?" 

That the astral world's telepathy along their aisles 
of light 

Has summoned our brave immortals, this selfsame 
mortal night, 

All in that rare existence where thoughts a sub- 
stance are, 

To their native planet's aura, from journeyings 
near and far; 



And that now with forms made over, and life as 

jocund and young 
As when they here kept wassail and joined in the 

catches sung, 
They have met in the ancient fashion, and now 

in the old-time speech 
Are chanting their Vivat Centuria just out of our 

hearing's reach ? 



Yes, O yes, — as the pictured ghosts of Huns 
war on in middle air 

With a fiercer battle-hunger from the field up- 
flinging there, — 

And since the things we have chosen from all, as 
most of worth 

Forever here and hereafter, cease not with the end 
of Earth ; 

*33 



"UBI SUNT QJJI ANTE NOS?" 

Since joy and knowledge and beauty, and the love 

of man to man 
Passing the love of women, the links of our chain 

began, — 
Yea, even as these are ceaseless, so they who were 

liegemen here 
Hark back and are all Centurions this night of the 

fiftieth year ! 



Yes, the draftsmen and craftsmen have fashioned 
with a dream's compelling force 

The Century's lordlier temple, have builded it 
course on course, 

And a luminiferous ether floods the great assembly- 
hall 

Where the scintillant " C. A." colophon burns 
high in the sight of all. 



The painters have hung from end to end cloud- 
canvases ablaze 

With that color - scheme from us hidden in the 
ultra-violet rays, 

134 



"UBI SUNT QJJI ANTE NOS?" 

With the new chiaroscuro of things that each way 
face, 

And the in-and-out perspective of their four-dimen- 
sioned space. 



O, to hear the famed Cantators upraise the mighty 

chant, 
With their bass transposed to the rumbling depth 

below our octaves scant, 
And a tenor of those Elysian notes " too fine for 

mortal ear," 
Yet tuned to the diapason of this dear old darkling 

sphere ! 



And O, to catch but a glimpse of the company 

thronged around — 
The scholars that know it all at last, the poets 

finally crowned ! 
There the blithe divines, that fear no more the 

midnight chimes, sit each 
With his halo tilted a trifle, and his harp at easy 

reach ; 

135 



"UBI SUNT QUI ANTE NOS?" 

There all the jolly Centurions of high or low de- 
gree, 

This night of nights, as in early time, foregather 
gloriously, — 

Come back, mayhap, from Martian meads, from 
many an orb come back, 

Full sure the cheer they cared for here this night 
shall have no lack; 



For they know the jovial servitors have mingled a 
noble brew 

Of the tipple men call nectarean, the pure celes- 
tial dew, 

And are passing around ambrosial cakes, while the 
incense-clouds arise 

Of something akin to those earthly fumes not even 
the Blest despise. 



And yet — and yet — could we listen, we might 

o'erhear them say 
They would barter a year of Aidenn to be here 

for a night and a day ; 
And if one of us yearns to follow the paths that 

thitherward wend — 
Let him rest content, — let him have no fear, — 

he verily shall in the end. 

136 



"UBI SUNT QJJI ANTE NOS?" 

Then not for the quick alone this hour unbar the 

entrance gate, 
But a health to the brethren gone before, however 

they hold their state ! 
Nor think it all fancy that to our hearts there 

comes an answering thrill 
From the Dead that echo our Vivats and are of 

the Century still. 

l 37 



IV 



THE CARIB SEA 



KENNST DU? 

Do you know the blue of the Carib Sea 

Far out where there 's nothing but sky to bound 

The gaze to windward, the glance to lee, — 

More deep than the bluest spaces be 

Betwixt white clouds in heaven's round ? 

Have you seen the liquid lazuli spread 

From edge to edge, so wondrous blue 

That your footfall's trust it might almost woo, 

Were it smooth and low for one to tread ? 

So clear and warm, so bright, so dark, 

That he who looks on it can but mark 

'Tis a different tide from the far-away 

Perpetual waters, old and gray, 

And can but wonder if Mother Earth 

Has given a younger ocean birth. 



Do you know how surely the trade-wind blows 
To west-sou'west, through the whole round year ? 
How, after the hurricane comes and goes, 
For nine fair moons there is naught to fear ? 
141 



THE CARIB SEA 

How the brave wind carries the tide before 

Its breath, and on to the southwest shore ? 

How the Caribbean billows roll, 

One after the other, and climb forever, — 

The yearning waves of a shoreless river 

That never, never can reach its goal ? 

They follow, follow, now and for aye, 

One after the other, brother and brother, 

And their hollow crests half hide the play 

Of light where the sun's red sword thrusts home ; 

But still in a tangled shining chain 

They quiver and fall and rise again, 

And far before them the wind-borne spray 

Is shaken on from their froth and foam, — 

And for leagues beyond, in gray and rose, 

The sundown shimmering distance glows ! 

— So bright, so swift, so glad, the sea 

That girts the isles of Caribbee. 



Do you know the green of those island shores 
By the morning sea-breeze fanned ? 
(The tide on the reefs that guard them roars — 
Then slips by stealth to the sand.) 
Have you found the inlet, cut between 
Like a rift across the crescent moon, 
And anchored off the dull lagoon 
Close by forest fringes green, — 
142 



KENNST DU 



Cool and green, save for the lines 
Of yellow cocoa-trunks that lean, 
Each in its own wind-nurtured way, 
And bend their fronds to the wanton vines 
Beneath them all astray ? 



Here is no mangrove warp-and-woof 
From which a vapor lifts aloof, 
But on the beaches smooth and dry 
Red-lipped conch-shells lie — 
Even at the edge of that green wall 
Where the shore-grape's tendriled runners spread 
And purple trumpet-creepers fall, 
And the frangipani's clusters shed 
Their starry sweets withal. 
The silly cactuses writhe around, 
Yet cannot choose but in grace to mingle, 
This side the twittering waters sound, 
On the other opens a low green dingle, 
And between your ship and the shore and sky 
The frigate-birds like fates appear, 
The flapping pelican feeds about, 
The tufted cardinals sing and fly. 
So fair the shore, one has no fear ; 
And the sailors, gathered forward, shout 
With strange glad voices each to each, — 
Though well the harbor's depth they know 
H3 



THE CARIB SEA 

And the craven shark that lurks below, 
" Ho ! let us over, and strike out 
Until we stand upon the beach, 
Until that wonderland we reach ! " 
— So green, so fair, the island lies, 
As if 't were adrift from Paradise. 
144 



SARGASSO WEED 

Out from the seething Stream 

To the steadfast trade-wind's courses, 
Over the bright vast swirl 

Of a tide from evil free, — 
Where the ship has a level beam, 

And the storm has spent his forces, 
And the sky is a hollow pearl 

Curved over a sapphire sea* 



Here it floats as of old, 

Beaded with gold and amber, 
Sea-frond buoyed with fruit, 

Sere as the yellow oak, 
Long since carven and scrolled, 

Of some blue-ceiled Gothic chamber 
Used to the viol and lute 

And the ancient belfry's stroke. 



Eddying far and still 

In the drift that never ceases, 



THE CARIB SEA 

The dun Sargasso weed 

Slips from before our prow, 

And its sight makes strong our will, 
As of old the Genoese's, 

When he stood in his hour of need 
On the Santa Maria's bow. 



Ay, and the winds at play- 
Toy with these peopled islands, 

Each of itself as well 

Naught but a brave New World, 

Where the crab and sea-slug stay 
In the lochs of its tiny highlands, 

And the nautilus moors his shell 
With his sail and streamers furled. 



Each floats ever and on 

As the round green Earth is floating 
Out through the sea of space 

Bearing our mortal kind, 
Parasites soon to be gone, 

Whom others be sure are noting, 
While to their astral race 

We in our turn are blind. 
146 



CASTLE ISLAND LIGHT 



Between the outer Keys, 

Where the drear Bahamas be, 

Through a crooked pass the vessels sail 
To reach the Carib Sea. 



'T is the Windward Passage, long and dread, 

From bleak San Salvador; 
(Three thousand miles the wave must roll 

Ere it wash the Afric shore). 



Here are the coral reefs 

That hold their booty fast ; 

The sea-fan blooms in groves beneath, 
And sharks go lolling past. 



Hither and yon the sand-bars lie 
Where the prickly bush has grown, 

H7 



THE CARIB SEA 



And where the rude sponge-fisher dwells 
In his wattled hut, alone. 



Southward, amid the strait, 
Is the Castle Island Light -, 

Of all that bound the ocean round 
It has the loneliest site. 



ii 

'Twixt earth and heaven the waves are driven 

Sorely upon its flank ; 
The light streams out for sea-leagues seven 

To the Great Bahama Bank. 



A girded tower, a furlong scant 
Of whitened sand and rock, 

And one sole being the waters seeing, 
Where the gull and gannet flock. 



He is the warder of the pass 

That mariners must find ; 
His beard drifts down like the ashen moss 

Which hangs in the southern wind. 

i 4 8 



CASTLE ISLAND LIGHT 

The old man hoar stands on the shore 

And bodes the withering gale, 
Or wonders whence from the distant world 

Will come the next dim sail. 



From the Northern Main, from England, 
From France, the craft go by ; 

Yet sometimes one will stay her course 
That must his wants supply. 



hi 



In a Christmas storm the " Claribel " struck 
At night, on the Pelican Shoal, 

But the keeper's wife heard not the guns 
And the bell's imploring toll. 



She died ere the gale went down, 
Wept by her daughters three — 

Sun-flecked, yet fair, with their English hair, 
Nymphs of the wind and sea. 



With sail and oar some island shore 
At will their skiffs might gain, 
149 



THE CARIB SEA 



But they never had known the kiss of man, 
Nor had looked on the peopled main, 



Nor heard of the old man Atlas, 
Who holds the unknown seas, 

And the golden fruit that is guarded well 
By the young Hesperides. 



IV 



Who steers by Castle Island Light 

May hear the seamen tell 
How one, the mate, alone was saved 

From the wreck of the " Claribel j " 



And how for months he tarried 
With the keeper on the isle, 

And for each of the blue-eyed daughters 
Had ever a word or a smile. 



Between the two that loved him 
He lightly made his choice, 
150 



CASTLE ISLAND LIGHT 

And betimes a chance ship took them off 
From the father's sight and voice. 



The second her trouble could not bear, — 
So wild her thoughts had grown 

That she fled with a lurking smuggler's crew, 
But whither was never known. 



Then the keeper aged like Lear, 
Left with one faithful child ; 

But 't was ill to see a maid so young 
Who never sang or smiled. 



'T is sad to bide with an old, old man, 

And between the wave and sky- 
To watch all day the sea-fowl play, 
While lone ships hasten by. 



There came, anon, the white full moon 
That rules the middle year, 
151 



THE CARIB SEA 



Before whose sheen the lesser stars 
Grow pale and disappear. 



It glistened down on a lighthouse tower, 

A beach on either hand, 
And the features wan of a gray old man 

Digging a grave in the sand. 
152 



CHRISTOPHE 

(cape haytien) 

" King Henri is King Stephen's peer, 
His breeches cost him but a crown ! " 
So from the old world came the jeer 

Of them who hunted Toussaint down 
But what was this grim slave that swept 
The shambles, then to greatness leapt ? 
Their counterfeit in bronze, a thing 
To mock, — or every inch a king ? 



On San-Souci's defiant wall 

His people saw, against the sky, 

Christophe, — a shape the height of Saul, 
A chief who brooked no rivals nigh. 

Right well he aped the antique state; 

His birth was mean, his heart was great ; 

No azure filled his veins, — instead, 

The Afric torrent, hot and red. 
'53 



THE CARIB SEA 

He built far up the mountain-side 
A royal keep, and walled it round 

With towers the palm-tops could not hide; 
The ramparts toward ocean frowned; 

Beneath, within the rock-hewn hold, 

He heaped a monarch's store of gold ; 

He made his nobles in a breath ; 

He held the power of life and death ; 



And here through torrid years he ruled 
The Haitian horde, a despot king, — 

Mocked Europe's pomp, — her minions schooled 
In trade and war and parleying, — 

Yet reared his dusky heirs in vain : 

To end the drama, Fate grew fain, 

Uprose a rebel tide, and flowed 

Close to the threshold where he strode. 



" And now the Black must exit make, 

A craven at the last," they say : 
Not so, — Christophe his leave will take 

The long unwonted Roman way. 
" Ho ! Ho ! " cried he, " the day is done, 
And I go down with the setting sun ! " 
A pistol-shot, — no sign of fear, — 
So died Christophe without a peer. 
154 



LA SOURCE 

(port-au-prince) 

A haunt the mountain roadside near, 
Wherefrom the cliff that rose behind 
Kept back, through all the tropic year, 
The sundrouth and the whirling wind : 
These here could never entrance find ; 
Perpetual summer balm it knew ; 
And skyward, thick-set boughs entwined 
Their coil, where birds made sweet ado, 
And heaven through glossy leaves was deepest 
blue. 



Twin relics of some forest grim, 
The last of their primeval race 
Left scatheless, knit them limb with limb 
Above the reaches of that place ; 
Time's hand against their high embrace 
For seeming centuries had striven, 
But yet they grappled face to face, 
155 



THE CARIB SEA 



Still from their olden guard undriven 
Though at their feet the cliff itself was riven. 



And from the rift a stream outflowed, 
The fountain of that cloven grot, — 
La Source ! Along the downward road 
It speeded, pitying the lot 
Of dwellers in each hot-roofed spot 
Which fiery noonday held in rule, — 
Yet at the start neglected not 
To broaden into one deep pool 
Beneath those trees its staunchless waters cool. 



Near the green edge of this recess 
We made our halt, and marvelled, more 
Than at its sudden loveliness, 
To find reborn that life of yore 
When ocean to Nausicaa bore 
The wanderer from Calypso strayed, — 
For here swart dames, and beldames hoar, 
With many a round-limbed supple maid, 
Plashed in the pool and eyed us unafraid. 



The simple, shameless washers there, 
Dusk children of the Haitian sun, 

i 5 6 



LA SOURCE 

Bent to the work their bodies, bare 
And brown, nor thought our gaze to shun, - 
Save that an elfish withered one, 
Scolding the white-toothed girls, set free 
Her tongue, and bade them now have done 
With saucy pranks, nor wanton be 
Before us stranger folk from over sea. 



But on the sward one rose full length 
From her sole covering, and stood 
Defiant in the beauteous strength 
Of nature unabashed : a nude 
And wilding slip of womanhood. 
Now for the master-hand, that shaped 
The Indian Hunter in his wood, 
To mould that lissome form undraped 
Ere from its grace the sure young lines escaped ! 



Straight as the aloe's crested shoot 
That blooms a golden month and dies, 
She stayed an instant, with one foot 
On tiptoe, poising statue-wise, 
And stared, and mocked us with her eyes, 
While rippling to her hip's firm swell 
The mestee hair, that so outvies 
157 



THE CARIB SEA 



Europe's soft mesh, and holds right well 
The Afric sheen, in one dark torrent fell. 



i*V, Ang'elique ! we heard them scream, — 
What, could that child, in twice her years, 
Change to their like from this fair dream ! 
Ft done ! — But she, as one who hears 
And cares not, at her leisure nears 
The pool, and toward her mates at play 
Plunges, — and laughter filled our ears 
As from La Source we turned away 
And rode again into the glare of day. 
158 



TO L. H. S. 



Love, these vagrant songs may woo you 
Once again from winter's ruth, — 
Once more quicken memories failing 
Of those days when we went sailing, 
Eager as when first I knew you, 
Sailing after my lost youth. 



My lost youth, for in my sight you 

Had yourself forborne to change 
Since that age when we, together, 
Made such mock of wind and weather, 
Sought alone what might delight you, — 
Ah, how sweet, how far, how strange ! 



Yet, though scarcely else anear you 

Than Tithonus to Aurore, 
I am still by Time requited, 
Still can vaunt, as when we plighted, 
159 



THE CARIB SEA 



Sight to see you, ear to hear you, 
Voice to sing you, if no more. 



And in thought I yet behold you 

Nearing the enchanted zone, — 
(With delight of life the stronger 
As we sailed, each blue league longer, 
Toward the shore of which I told you, 
And the stars myself had known), 



Wondering at the hue beneath you 
Of the restless shining waves, 
Asking of the palm and coral, — 
Of the white cascades — the floral 
Ridges waiting long to wreathe you 

With the blooms our Norseland craves. 



Winds enow since then have kissed you, 

On their way to bless or blight ; 
Little may these songs recover 
Of that dream-life swiftly over, — 
Nay, but Love, a moment list you, 

Since none else can set them right. 
1 60 



TO L. H. S. 

More and ever more, the while you 

Sailed where every distance gleams, 
Passed all sorrow, died all anger, 
In the clime of love and languor, 
Till we reached the mist-hung isle you 
Called the haunted Isle of Dreams. 
161 



JAMAICA 

I know an island which the sun 

Stays in his course to shine upon, 

As if it were for this green isle 

Alone he kept his fondest smile. 

Long his rays delaying flood 

Its remotest solitude, 

Mountain, dell, and palmy wood, 

And the coral sands around 

That hear the blue sea's chiming sound. 



It is a watered island, one 
The upland rains pour down upon. 
Oft the westward-floating cloud 
To some purple crest is bowed, 
While the tangled vapors seek 
To escape from peak and peak, 
Yield themselves, and break, or glide 
Through deep forests undescried, 
Mourning their lost pathway wide. 
162 



JAMAICA 

In this land of woods and streams 
Ceaseless Summer paints her dreams 
White, bewildered torrents fall, 
Dazzled by her morning beams, 
With an outcry musical 
From the ridges, plainward all ; 
Mists of pearl, arising there, 
Mark their courses in the air, 
Sunlit, magically fair. 



Here the pilgrim may behold 
How the bended cocoa waves 
When at eve and morn a breeze 
Blows to and from the Carib seas, 
How the lush banana leaves 
From their braided trunk unfold ; 
How the mango wears its gold, 
And the sceptred aloe's bloom 
Glorifies it for the tomb. 



When the day has ended quite, 
Splendor fills the drooping skies ; 
All is beauty, naught is night. 
Then the Crosses twain arise, 
Southward far, above the deep, 

163 



THE CARIB SEA 



And the moon their light outvies. 
Hark ! the wakened lute and song 
That to this fond clime belong, — 
All is music, naught is sleep. 



Isle of plenty, isle of love ! 
In the low, encircling plain 
Laboring Afric, loaded wain, 
Bearing sweets and spices, move ; 
On the happy heights above 
Love his seat has chosen well, 
Dreamful ease and silence dwell, 
Life is all entranced, and time 
Passes like a tinkling rhyme. 



Ah, on those cool heights to dwell 

Yielded to the island's spell ! 

There from some low-whispering mouth 

To learn the secret of the South, 

Or to watch dark eyes that close 

When their sleep the noondays bring, 

(List, the palm leaves murmuring !) 

And the wind that comes and goes 

Smells of every flower that blows. 
164 



JAMAICA 

Or from ocean to descry 
Green plantations sloping nigh, 
Starry peaks, of beryl hewn, 
Whose strong footholds hidden lie 
Furlong deep beneath the sea ! 
Long the mariners wistfully 
Landward gaze, and say aright, 
u Under sun or under moon 
Earth has no more beauteous sight ! 

i6 S 



CREOLE LOVER'S SONG 

Night wind, whispering wind, 

Wind of the Carib sea ! 
The palms and the still lagoon 
Long for thy coming soon ; 
But first my lady find : 
Hasten, nor look behind ! 

To-night Love's herald be. 



The feathery bamboo moves, 

The dewy plantains weep j 
From the jasmine thickets bear 
The scents that are swooning there, 
And steal from the orange groves 
The breath of a thousand loves 
To waft her ere she sleep. 



And the lone bird's tender song 

That rings from the ceiba tree, 
The firefly's light, and the glow 
1 66 



CREOLE LOVER S SONG 

Of the moonlit waters low, — 
All things that to night belong 
And can do my love no wrong 
Bear her this hour for me. 



Speed thee, wind of the deep, 

For the cyclone comes in wrath ! 

The distant forests moan ; 

Thou hast but an hour thine own, — 

An hour thy tryst to keep, 

Ere the hounds of tempest leap 
And follow upon thy path. 



Whisperer, tarry a space ! 

She waits for thee in the night ; 
She leans from the casement there *. 
With the star-blooms in her hair, 
And a shadow falls like lace 
From the fern-tree over her face, 

And over her mantle white. 



Spirit of air and fire, 

To-night my herald be ! 
Tell her I love her well, 
167 



THE CARIB SEA 

And all that I bid thee, tell, 
And fold her ever the nigher 
With the strength of my soul's desire, 
Wind of the Carib sea ! 
168 



THE ROSE AND THE JASMINE 

Now dies the rippling murmur of the strings 

That followed long, half-striving to retake, 

The burden of the lover's ended song. 

Silence ! but we who listened linger yet, 

Two of the soul's near portals still unclosed — 

Sight and the sense of odor. At our feet, 

Beneath the open jalousies, is spread 

A copse of leaf and bloom, a knotted wild 

Of foliage and purple flowering vines, 

With here a dagger-plant to pierce them through, 

And there a lone papaya lifting high 

Its golden-gourded cresset. Night's high noon 

Is luminous ; that swooning silvery hour 

When the concentrate spirit of the South 

Grows visible — so rare, and yet so filled 

With tremulous pulsation that it seems 

All light and fragrance and ethereal dew. 



Two vases — carved from some dark, precious 

wood, 
The red-grained heart of olden trees that cling 

i6 9 



THE CARIB SEA 

To yonder mountain — in the moonlight cast 

Their scrolls' deep shadows on the glassy floor. 

A proud exotic Rose, brought from the North, 

Is set within the one ; the other bears 

A double Jasmine for its counter-charm. 

Here on their thrones, in equal high estate, 

The rivals bloom ; and both have drunk the dew, 

Tending their beauty in the midnight air, 

Until their sovereign odors meet and blend, 

As voices blend that whisper melody, 

Now each distinct, now mingled both in one : 



JASMINE 

I, like a star, against the woven gloom 
Of tresses on Dolores' brow shall rest. 



ROSE 

And I one happy, happy night shall bloom 
Twined in the border of her silken vest. 



JASMINE 

Throughout our isle the guardian winds deprive 
Of all their sweets a hundred common flowers, 
170 



THE ROSE AND THE JASMINE 

To feed my heart with fragrance ! Lone they 
live, 
And drop their petals far from trellised bowers. 



ROSE 



Within the garden-plot whence I was borne 
No rifled sisterhood became less fine; 

My wealth made not the violet forlorn, 

And near me climbed the fearless eglantine. 



JASMINE 



Who feels my breath recalls the orange court, 
The terraced walks that jut upon the sea, 

The water in the moonlit bay amort, 

The midnight given to longing and to me. 



ROSE 



Who scents my blossoms dreams of bordered 
meads 
Deep down the hollow of some vale far north, 
Where Cuthbert with the fair-haired Hilda pleads, 
And overhead the stars of June come forth. 
171 



THE CARIB SEA 



JASMINE 



Me with full hands enamored Manuel 

Gathers for dark-browed Inez at his side, 

And both to love are quickened by my spell, 
And chide the day that doth their joys divide. 



ROSE 



Nay, but all climes, all tender sunlit lands 

From whose high places spring the palm or pine, 

Desire my gifts to grace the wedded bands, 
And every home for me has placed a shrine. 



JASMINE 



Fold up thy heart, proud virgin, ay, and blush 
With all the crimson tremors thou canst vaunt ! 

My yearning waves of passion onward rush, 
And long the lover's wistful memory haunt. 



Pale temptress, the night's revel be thine own, 
Till love shall pall and rapture have its fill ! 
172 



THE ROSE AND THE JASMINE 

The morn's fresh light still finds me on a throne 
Where care is not, nor blissful pains that kill. 



JASMINE 

Sweet, sweet my breath, oh, sweet beyond compare ! 

ROSE 

Rare, rare the splendors of my regal crown ! 

BOTH 

Choose which thou wilt, bold lover, yet beware 
Lest to a luckless choice thou bendest down ! 
!73 



FERN-LAND 



Hither, where a woven roof 
Keeps the prying sun aloof 

From wonderland, 
From the fairies underland, — 
Hither, where strange grasses grow 
With their curling rootlets set 
'Twixt the black roots serpentine, 
Laurel roots that twist and twine 
Toward the cloven path below 
Of some cloud-born rivulet, — 

This way enter 
Fern-Land, and from rim to centre 
All its secrets shall be thine. 



ii 



Here within the covert see 
Fern-Land's mimic forestry ; 
Royal tree-ferns 

174 



FERN-LAND 

Canopy the nestling wee ferns 
That with every pointed frond 
Lend their lords a duteous ear; 
Golden ferns a sunshine make — 
Fleck their beauty on the brake ; 
In their moonlight close beyond 
Silver ferns like sprites appear. 

Here beholden, 
Purple, silver, green and golden, 
Mingle for their own sweet sake. 



in 



Day's sure horologe of flowers 
Marks in turn the honeyed hours ; 

Blossoms dangle, 
Lithe lianas twist and tangle ; 
Here on the lagetta tree 
Laboring elves at starlight weave 
Filmy bride-veils of its spray, 
Shot with the cocuya's ray, — 
For in fairy-land we be ! 
Look, and you shall well believe 

Oberon reigneth, 
And Titania disdaineth, 
Still, to yield her lord his way. 
175 



THE CARIB SEA 



IV 



Here, unseen by grosser light, 
Fairy-land, at noon of night 

Holidaying, 
Sallies forth in fine arraying; 
Elfin, sylphide, fay and gnome 
On the dew-tipped ferns disport, 
In the festooned creepers swing, 
Their light plumage fluttering. 
Fern-Land is their ancient home, 
Here the monarch holds his court, 

Puck abideth ; 
Here the Queen her changeling hideth, 
Ariel doth merrily sing. 



Here, when Dian shuns the sky, 
Swift the winged watchmen fly, — 

Flash their torches 
In and out mimosa porches 
Till the first pale glint of morn : 
Then the little people change 
Casque and doublet, robe and sash, 
In the twinkling of a lash, 

i 7 6 



FERN-LAND 

For the magic mantles worn 
Warily where mortals range, 

And beside us 
Now unseen, with glee deride us, 
Laugh to scorn our trespass rash. 



VI 



Then the gnomes, that change to newts, 
Lurk about the tree-fern's roots ; 

Their commander 
Is the frog-mouthed salamander 
Who will marshal in the sun 
Red-backed lizards from the vines, 
Eft and newt from bog and spring, — 
Many a crested, horny thing 
Sharp-eyed, fearsome, — and that one 
With the loathly spotted lines ! 

Mortal heedeth 
Him, whose breath of poison speedeth 
Them that chafe the elfin king. 



VII 



Moths above, that feed on dew, 
Flit their wings of gold and blue, — 
177 



THE CARIB SEA 

Fancy guesses 
These must be the court-princesses 
Others are in durance pent, 
Changed to orchids for their tricks, 
Wantons they, who must remain 
All day long in beauteous pain 
Till stern Oberon relent, 
Pardon grant, and seal affix. 

Each repineth 
Thus until the monarch dineth 
And, content, doth loose her chain. 



VIII 

Would you had the fine, fine ear 
The dragonfly's recall to hear, — 

Tiny words 
Of the vibrant humming-birds 
That, where bloom convolvuli, 
Round the dew-cups whir and hover, 
Thrusting each, hour after hour, 
His keen bill to heart o' the flower, 
As some mounted knight may ply 
His long lance, an eager lover, 

Through deep sedges, 
And athrough the coppice edges, 
Fain to reach his lady's bower. 

i 7 8 



FERN-LAND 



IX 



Whilst the emerald lancers poise 
In the soft air without noise, 

Brake and mould 
Hoard their marvels manifold. 
There the armored beetles creep. 
Shrouding in unseemly fear 
Each his shield of chrysoprase 
Lest its gleam himself betrays 
For our kind to seize and keep 
Prisoned in a damsel's ear. 

Each one stealeth 
Dumbly, and his dull way feeleth 
Until starlight shall appear. 



Step you soft, be mute and wary 
Lest you wake the lords of Faery ! 

Motion rude 
Fits not with their solitude : 
Else the spider will resent 
And the beetle nip you well, 
Bete-rouge in your neck will furrow, 
Garapata dig his burrow : — 
179 



THE CARIB SEA 

Dread the wasp's swift punishment 
And the chegoe's vengeance fell : 

Well-defended, 
Fairies sleep till day hath ended, — 
Leave we Fern-Land and its spell. 
1 80 



MORGAN 

Oh, what a set of Vagabundos, 

Sons of Neptune, sons of Mars, 
Raked from todos otros mundos, 

Lascars, Gascons, Portsmouth tars, 
Prison mate and dock-yard fellow, 

Blades to Meg and Molly dear, 
Off to capture Porto Bello 

Sailed with Morgan the Buccaneer ! 



Out they voyaged from Port Royal 

(Fathoms deep its ruins be, 
Pier and convent, fortress loyal, 

Sunk beneath the gaping sea) ; 
On the Spaniard's beach they landed, 

Dead to pity, void of fear, — 
Round their blood-red flag embanded, 

Led by Morgan the Buccaneer. 



Dawn till dusk they stormed the castle, 

Beat the gates and gratings down j 

181 



THE CARIB SEA 

Then, with ruthless rout and wassail, 
Night and day they sacked the town, 

Staved the bins its cellars boasted, 
Port and Lisbon, tier on tier, 

Quaffed to heart's content, and toasted 
Harry Morgan the Buccaneer : 



Stripped the church and monastery, 

Racked the prior for his gold, 
With the traders' wives made merry, 

Lipped the young and mocked the old, 
Diced for hapless senoritas 

(Sire and brother bound anear), — 
Juanas, Lolas, Manuelitas, 

Cursing Morgan the Buccaneer. 



Lust and rapine, flame and slaughter, 

Forayed with the Welshman grim : 

u Take my pesos, spare my daughter ! " 

" Ha ! ha ! " roared that devil's limb, 
" These shall jingle in our pouches, 

She with us shall find good cheer." 
" Lash the graybeard till he crouches ! " 
Shouted Morgan the Buccaneer. 
182 



MORGAN 

Out again through reef and breaker, 

While the Spaniard moaned his fate, 
Back they voyaged to Jamaica, 

Flush with doubloons, coins of eight, 
Crosses wrung from Popish varlets, 

Jewels torn from arm and ear, — 
Jesu ! how the Jews and harlots 

Welcomed Morgan the Buccaneer ! 

183 



CAPTAIN FRANCISCA 

Off Maracaibo's wall 
The squadron lay : 
The dykes are carried all 

With storm and shout ! 
Le Basque and Lolonnois 
On land their crews deploy, 
Through all that ruthless day 
The Spaniards rout. 



They sack the captured town 

Ere set of sun ; 
Their blood-red pennons crown 

The convent tower : 
Then Du Plessis, the bold, 
Cries : " Take my share of gold ! 
For me this pretty one, 
This cloister flower ! " 



Dice, drink, and song, the while 
They seek anew 
184 



CAPTAIN FRANCISCA 

The filibusters' isle, 

Tortuga's port. 
Swift was the craft that bore 
Francisca from her shore; 
Red-handed were its crew 

And grim their sport. 



Unbraided fell her hair, 

A tropic cloud ; 
Seven days, with sob and prayer, 

She mourned the dead ; 
Like rain her tears fell ; 
But Du Plessis right well 
By saint and relic vowed 
As on they sped. 



Ere past the Mer du Nord 

She smiled apace; 
Her dark eyes evermore 

Sought his alone. 
Hot wooed the Chevalier ; 
His outlaw-priest was near : 
Forsworn were home and race, 
She was his own. 

i8 5 



THE CARIB SEA 



Now cruel Lolonnois 

And fierce Le Basque 
Unlade with wolfish joy 

The cargazon; 
Land all their ribald braves, 
Captives and naked slaves, 
With many a bale and cask, 
By rapine won ; 



Armor and altar-plate 

Brought over sea : 
Pesos, a countless weight, 
The horde divide — 
To each an equal share, 
Else blades are in the air ! 
Cries Du Plessis : " For me, 
My ship, and bride ! " 



They sailed the Mer du Nord, 

The Carib Sea, 
Whose galleons fled before 

The Frenchman's crew; 
But, in one deadly fight, 
A swivel aimed aright 

Brought down young Du Plessis, 
Shot through and through, 
i 86 



CAPTAIN FRANCISCA 

Wild heart of France, in pride 

And ruin bred ! 
Against a heart he died, 

As brave, as free. 
Sternly she bade his men 
First sink the prize, and then 
Name one that in his stead 
Their chief should be. 



Each red-shirt laid his hand 

Upon the Cross, 
Swearing, at her command, 
Vengeance to wreak ; 
To scour the blue sea there 
And seek the Spaniards' lair, 
From Gracias a Dios 
To Porto Rique. 



His corse the deep she gave, 

Her life to hate ; 
Upon the land and wave 

Brought sudden fear : 
No bearded Capitan, 
Since first their woes began 
(The orphaned ninas prate), 
Cost them so dear ! 
187 



THE CARIB SEA 

From Maracaibo's Bay 

Anon put out 
A frigate to waylay 

This ranger dark. 
It crossed the Mer du Nord, 
And, off San Salvador, 

Stayed, with defiance stout, 
Francisca's barque. 



They grappled stern and prow 

Till the guns kissed ! 
Girt like her rovers, now 

She bids them board : 
The first her blade had shorn 
Was her own brother born. 
Blindly she smote, nor wist 
Whose life-stream poured. 



Yet, as he fell, one ball 

His sure aim sped. 
Her lips the battle-call 

Essay in vain. 
Then deathful stroke on stroke, 
Curses and powder-smoke, 
And blood like water shed 
Above the twain ! 
188 



CAPTAIN FRANCISCA 

No quarter give or take ! 

The decks are gore ; 
Fresh gaps the Spaniards make, 
Charging anew : 
" Death to the buccaneer ! 
No more our fleet shall fear, 
That sails the Mer du Nord, 
This corsair crew ! " 



— On thy lone strand was made, 

San Salvador, 
One grave where two were laid 

For bane or boon ! 
The last of all their race, 
To each an equal place. 

Guards well that sombre shore 
The still lagoon. 
i8q 



PANAMA 

Two towers the old Cathedral lifts 

Above the sea-walled town, — 
The wild pine bristles from their rifts, 

The runners dangle down ; 
In either turret, staves in hand, 
All day the mongrel ringers stand 
And sound, far over bay and land, 
The Bells of Panama. 



Loudly the cracked bells, overhead, 

Of San Francisco ding, 
With Santa Ana, La Merced, 

Felipe, answering ; 
Banged all at once, and four times four, 
Morn, noon, and night, the more and more 
Clatter and clang with huge uproar 

The Bells of Panama. 



From out their roosts the bellmen see 
The red-tiled roofs below, — 
190 



PANAMA 

The Plaza folk that lazily 

To mass and cockpit go, — 
Then pound afresh, with clamor fell, 
Each ancient, broken, thrice-blest bell, 
Till thrice our mouths have cursed as well 

The Bells of Panama. 



The Cordillera guards the main 

As when Pedrarias bore 
The cross, the castled flag of Spain, 

To the Pacific shore ; 
The tide still ebbs a league from quay, 
The buzzards scour the emptied Bay : 
" There 's a heretic to singe to-day, — • 
Come out ! Come out ! " — still strive to say 

The Bells of Panama. 
191 



MARTINIQUE IDYL 

Love, the winds long to lure you to their home, 
To tempt you on beneath the northern arch ! 

There, in the swift, bright summer, you and I 

May loiter where the elms' deep shadows lie ; 

There, by our household fire, bid Yule-tide come, 
And winter's cold, and every gust of March. 



Stay, O stay with me here, and chasten 
Tour heart still longing to wander more ! 

Ever the restless winds are winging, 

But the white-plumed egrets, skyward-springing, 

Over our blue sea hover, and hasten 
To light anew on their own dear shore. 



The lips grow tired of honey, the cloyed ear 
Of music, and of light the eyelids tire. 

I weary of the sky's eternal balm, 

The ceaseless droop and rustle of the palm ; 

Only your whisper, love, constrains me here 
From that brave clime I would you might desire. 
192 



MARTINIQUE IDYL 

Cold, ah, cold is the sky, and leaden, 

There where earth rounds off to the pole ! 
Still by kisses the moments number, — 
Here are sweetness, and rest, and slumber, 
All to lighten and naught to deaden 

The heart's low murmur, the captured soul. 



Dear, I would have you yearn, amid these sweets, 
For the clear breeze that blows from waters 

gray,— 
For some fresh, northern hill-top, overgrown 
With bush and bloom and brake to you unknown ; 
There, while the hidden thrush his song repeats, 
The rose shall tinge your cheek the livelong 
day. 



Stay in the clime where living is loving 
And the lips make music unaware ; 

Where copses thrill with the wood-doves' cooing, 

And astral moths on the flight are wooing ; 

While the light colibris poise unmoving, — 

Winged Loves that mate in the trembling air. 



Nay, love itself will languish in the days 

When Summer never doffs his burning helm. 
193 



THE CARIB SEA 



No lasting links to bind the soul are wrought 
Where passion takes no deeper cast from thought ; 
Ah ! lend your ear a moment to the lays 
Our poets sing you of a trustier realm ! 



Under the cocoa-fronds that flutter, 

Here, where the lush white trumpet-flower 

And the curled lianas roof us over, 

So that no evil thing discover 

The sighs we mingle, the words we utter, — 
Here, oh here, let us make our bower ! 



Love is not perfect, sweet, that like a dream 

Flows on without a forecast or a pain ; 
Some burden must betide to make it strong, 
Some toil, to make its briefest bliss seem long, - 
Ay, longer than the crossing of a stream 

Mist-haunted, lit by moons that surely wane. 



Here, for a round of moons unbroken, 

A spell that holds shall your loss requite ; 
The fleet, sweet moments shall pass unreckoned 
And all to our constant love be second, 
And the fragrant lily shall be our token, 
That folds itself on the waves at night, 
194 



MARTINIQUE IDYL 

Yonder, or here, and whether summer's star 
Burn overhead, or rains of autumn fall ! 

Or snows of winter in the frozen North? 
Love, never doubt it ! 

Take me with you forth ! 
And oh, forget not in that land afar, 

I am your summer, — you, my life, my all! 

195 



ASTRA CAELI 



Over the Carib Sea to-night 

The stars hang low and near 

From the inexplicable dome, — 

Nearer, more close to sight, 

Than from the skies which bound the stern gray 

sea 
That girts our northern home. 



Aftward the sister Crosses be, 

And yonder to the lee 

One burning cresset glows — a sphere 

With light beyond a new moon's rays, 

As if some world of vanished souls shone clear 

And straight before our gaze. 



Were now his spirit bright, — 
Not veiled, nor dumb, — 
My brother's, with the smile of years ago, 
196 



ASTRA CAELI 



Hither to glide far down that path of light, 

And lift a hand, and say aright, — 

" Thou too shalt know 

The orb from which I come ! " 



— Were thus 'twixt star and wave 

His voice to reach me on the night-wind's breath, 

I would not lightly leave thee, Dear, 

Nor them who with thee here 

Make of Life's best for me the choice and sum, — 

But yet might not bemoan me, as the slave 

Condemned, who hears the call to death ; 

For that strange heralding 

Even of itself would answer all, — would prove 

Life but a voyage such as this, and bring 

To our adventuring 

Its gage of the immortal boon, 

Promise of after joy and toil and love ; 

And I would yield me, as the bird takes wing 

Knowing its mate must follow sure and soon. 



Ay, — but the trackless spirit 
Comes not, nor is there utterance or sign 
Of all we would divine 
Vouchsafed from the unanswering dome : 
*97 



THE CARIB SEA 

No presence east or west, — 
Only the stars — the restless wondering sea 
Bearing us back, from foam-tipped crest to crest, 
Toward the one small part ourselves inherit 
Of this lone darkling world — and call our home. 
198 



V 
ARIEL 

IN MEMORY OF PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY : BORN 
ON THE FOURTH OF AUGUST, A. D., 1 792 



ARIEL 

Wert thou on earth to-day, immortal one, 
How wouldst thou, in the starlight of thine 
eld, 
The likeness of that morntide look upon 

Which men beheld ? 
How might it move thee, imaged in time's glass, 
As when the tomb has kept 
Unchanged the face of one who slept 
Too soon, yet moulders not, though seasons come 
and pass ? 



Has Death a wont to stay the soul no less ? 
And art thou still what Shelley was ere- 
while, — 
A feeling born of music's restlessness — 

A child's swift smile 
Between its sobs — a wandering mist that rose 
At dawn — a cloud that hung 
The Euganean hills among; 
Thy voice, a wind-harp's strain in some enchanted 
close ? 

201 



ARIEL 

r 

Thyself the wild west wind, O boy divine, 
Thou fain wouldst be, — the spirit which in 
its breath 
Wooes yet the seaward ilex and the pine 

That wept thy death ? 
Or art thou still the incarnate child of song 
Who gazed, as if astray 
From some uncharted stellar way, 
With eyes of wonder at our world of grief and 
wrong ? 



Yet thou wast Nature's prodigal ; the last 

Unto whose lips her beauteous mouth she 
bent 
An instant, ere thy kinsmen, fading fast, 

Their lorn way went. 
What though the faun and oread had fled ? 
A tenantry thine own, 
Peopling their leafy coverts lone, 
With thee still dwelt as when sweet Fancy was 
not dead ; 



Not dead as now, when we the visionless, 
In nature's alchemy more woeful wise, 
Say that no thought of us her depths possess, — 
No love, her skies. 
202 



ARIEL 

Not ours to parley with the whispering June, 
The genii of the wood, 
The shapes that lurk in solitude, 
The cloud, the mounting lark, the wan and wan- 
ing moon. 



For thee the last time Hellas tipped her hills 
With beauty ; India breathed her midnight 
moan, 
Her sigh, her ecstasy of passion's thrills, 

To thee alone. 
Such rapture thine, and the supremer gift 
Which can the minstrel raise, 
Above the myrtle and the bays, 
To watch the sea of pain whereon our galleys 
drift. 



Therefrom arose with thee that lyric cry, 

Sad cadence of the disillusioned soul 
That asks of heaven and earth its destiny, — 

Or joy or dole. 
Wild requiem of the heart whose vibratings, 
With laughter fraught, and tears, 
Beat through the century's dying years 
While for one more dark round the old Earth 
plumes her wings. 
203 



ARIEL 

No answer came to thee ; from ether fell 

No voice, no radiant beam ; and in thy youth 
How were it else, when still the oracle 

Withholds its truth ? 
We sit in judgment, — we, above thy page 
Judge thee and such as thee, 
Pale heralds, sped too soon to see 
The marvels of our late yet unanointed age ! 



The slaves of air and light obeyed afar 

Thy summons, Ariel ; their elf-horns wound 
Strange notes which all uncapturable are 

Of broken sound. 
That music thou alone couldst rightly hear 
(O rare impressionist ! ) 
And mimic. Therefore still we list 
To its ethereal fall in this thy cyclic year. 



Be then the poet's poet still ! for none 

Of them whose minstrelsy the stars have 
blessed 
Has from expression's wonderland so won 

The unexpressed, — 
So wrought the charm of its elusive note 
204 



ARIEL 



On us, who yearn in vain 
To mock the paean and the plain 
Of tides that rise and fall with sweet mysterious 
rote. 



Was it not well that the prophetic few, 
So long inheritors of that high verse, 
Dwelt in the mount alone, and haply knew 

What stars rehearse ? 
But now with foolish cry the multitude 
Awards at last the throne, 
And claims thy cloudland for its own 
With voices all untuned to thy melodious mood. 



What joy it was to haunt some antique shade 
Lone as thine echo, and to wreak my youth 
Upon thy song, — to feel the throbs which made 

Thy bliss, thy ruth, — 
And thrill I knew not why, and dare to feel 
Myself an heir unknown 
To lands the poet treads alone 
Ere to his soul the gods their presence quite reveal ! 



Even then, like thee, I vowed to dedicate 

My powers to beauty ; ay, but thou didst keep 
205 



ARIEL 

The vow, whilst I knew not the afterweight 

That poets weep, 
The burthen under which one needs must bow, 
The rude years envying 
My voice the notes it fain would sing 
For men belike to hear, as still they hear thee now. 



Oh, the swift wind, the unrelenting sea ! 

They loved thee, yet they lured thee unaware 
To be their spoil, lest alien skies to thee 

Should seem more fair; 
They had their will of thee, yet aye forlorn 
Mourned the lithe soul's escape, 
And gave the strand thy mortal shape 
To be resolved in flame whereof its life was born. 



Afloat on tropic waves, I yield once more 

In age that heart of youth unto thy spell. 
The century wanes : thy voice thrills as of yore 

When first it fell. 
Would that I too, so had I sung a lay 
The least upborne of thine, 
Had shared thy pain ! Not so divine 
Our light, as faith to chant the far auroral day. 

On the Caribbean Sea 

(Revisited 1892) 

* 206 



INDEX OF TITLES 



INDEX OF TITLES 



Aaron Burr's Wooing, 81. 
Ad Vigilem, 122. 
Ariel, 201 
Astra Caeli, 196. 

Byron, 125. 

Captain Francisca, 184. 
Carib Sea, The, 139-198. 
Castle Island Light, 147. 
Centuria, 92. 
Christophe, 153. 
Commemorations, 95-137. 
Constant Heart, The, 14. 
Corda Concordia, 105. 
Cousin Lucrece, 84. 
Creole Lover's Song, 166. 

Death of Bryant, The, 97. 
Dutch Patrol, The, 72. 

"Ergo Iris," 123. 
Eventide, 38. 

Falstaff's Song, 65. 
Father Jardine, 55. 
Fern-Land, 174. 
Fin de Siecle, 58. 

Giffbrd, 103. 
Guests at Yale, 16. 

Hand of Lincoln, The, 5. 
Harebell, 48. 
Hebe, 24. 



Helen Keller, 39. 
Huntington House, 89. 

Inscriptions, 94. 

Jamaica, 162. 

Kennst Du ? 141. 

La Source, 155. 

Liberty Enlightening the World, 
119. 

Martinique Idyl, 1 92. 
Morgan, 181. 
Mors Benefica, 52. 
Music at Home, 3. 

Nocturne, 8. 

Old Picture-Dealer, The, 18. 
On a Great Man Whose Mind 

is clouding, 115. 
On the Death of an Invincible 

Soldier, 116. 
On White Carnations Given Me 

for My Birthday, 54. 

Panama, 190. 

Pilgrims, The, 51. 

Portrait d'une Dame Espagnole, 

4*- 

Proem to a Victorian Anthology, 

53- 
Provencal Lovers, 67. 

209 



INDEX OF TITLES 



Rose and the Jasmine, The, 169. 

Sargasso Weed, 145. 

Sea Change, at Kelp Rock, A, 43. 

Songs and Ballads, 63-94. 

Souvenir de Jeunesse, 30. 

Star Bearer, The, 34. 

To L. H. S. 159. 

Tombe of ye Poet Chaucer, Ye, 
10. 



UbiSunt Qui Ante Nos? " 132. 



Various Poems, 1-62. 
Vigil, A, 32. 

W. W. 124. 
Wedding-Day, The, 70. 
Witchcraft, I., a. d. 1692, 77. 
Witchcraft, II., a. d. 1884, 

79- 
World Well Lost, The, 22. 

Yale Ode for Commencement 
Day, 130. 



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